Scientific: Cocculus laurifolius
Common: snail seed
Family: Menispermaceae
Origin: Himalayan mountains, south Japan

Pronounciation: COC-u-lus lar-i-FOL-ee-us

Hardiness zones:
Sunset 8-9, 12-24
USDA 8-11

Landscape Use: Background, large informal hedge visual screen, foundation plant for larger buildings, nice small multiple-trunk tree with dense canopy, excellent for use around water, mesic landscape design themes

Form & Character: Large shrub to small tree, evergreen, rounded to decurrent and weeping, luxuriant, tropical

Growth Habit: Moderately vigorous, irregular to 25 to 35 feet with an equal spread, can maintain at 10 feet.

Foliage/texture: Dark green leaves alternate in arrangement, to 6 inches long, oblong-lanceolate to narrowly elliptic, prominently 3-veined, glossy dark green; petiole to 3/4 inch long. Young stems green; medium to coarse texture depending on use and plant size.

Flowers & fruits: Small yellow-green flowers, very small, in slender, erect panicles to 4 inches long, usually shorter at leaf axillary meristems in spring. Fruit a very small black drupe (1/4 inch diameter). Plants are not reproductive (bare flowers and fruit) in shade.

Seasonal color: None

Temperature: Tolerant

Light: Full sun to shade although becomes less dense in shade. Leaves 1/2 size in full sun, lighter green, and cupped.

Soil: Snail seed can develop foliar iron chlorosis in alkaline soils.

Watering: Regular watering

Pruning: Prune to shape. Can also severe renewal prune to rejuvenate.

Propagation: Cutting

Disease and pests: Foliar scale insects in tight landscape spaces with poor air circulation.

Additional comments: Surprisingly versatile (many landscape exposures), locally old fashioned (before the days of xeriscape in the 1980s), large landscape shrub for mesic and oasis landscape design themes. Its very clean appearance makes it an excellent small patio tree once trained as standard.