Cocculus laurifolius is a large ornamental shrub or small tree native to South Japan to Himalayas. It normally grows as a deciduous shrub 5-10 ft tall but can also become a small tree 10-20 ft tall. The attractive leaves are glossy, light green sometimes pale yellow when young, and become dark with age. The bark is light gray to grayish-brown and has interesting markings left by the snails that it is named after.
This plant requires full sun and moderate water. It is quite drought tolerant and can tolerate some cold weather down to at least the 30s F regionally when full grown. USDA Zone: 9-11.
When grown in a pot, care must be taken in cold regions as the containerized root system are more likely to suffer in cold temperatures. During winter, it should be moved indoors or some other protected area. Pots should have good drainage and have plenty of room for roots so that plants can grow to their full potential. It is important to keep the soil slightly moist throughout the growing season and water thoroughly once every few weeks, especially during dry summer months.
Cocculus laurifolius is an unusual and highly sought after plant in gardens and landscapes. Its attractive foliage and lack of thorns makes it an excellent choice for plantings in areas where children or other people may come in contact with it. It is also an excellent choice for topiary, as it can be easily pruned and shaped into interesting forms.