A genus of evergreen hardy shrubs with smooth and glossy laurel-like leaves, bearing bunches of scarlet berries late in the Fall. They are exceedingly effective in the shrubbery during the Winter months when color is most needed. They delight in plenty of water during the growing season.
They make handsome veranda plants, grown in large pots or boxes, especially when in fruit. There are several varieties with variegated foliage such as picta alba variegata, bicolor and aurea.
To insure a good supply of the very ornamental berries, which are produced on the female plant only, hand fertilizing may be necessary. The time for applying the pollen is when the pistil exudes a slightly gummy substance. Should the pollen be ripe before the pistil is mature, it may be preserved by being collected on a piece of dry paper and kept in a dry place. It should be applied with a camel's hair brush. The pollen retains its power for two weeks or perhaps a little longer. Any well-drained garden soil suits the Aucuba, and any situation not in the glaring hot sun. It does remarkably well even in the dust and smoke of the city.
Propagate by cuttings from short-jointed half-ripe wood placed in sandy soil in a cool frame in September; shade during sunshine for the first two weeks. It can also be propagated by sowing the seeds one-quarter of an inch deep as soon as ripe or in March. Remove the fleshy coating from the seeds before sowing.