This shrub is nicknamed “ laurel-leaved snail tree” as the seeds inside its fruit are snail-shaped and the leaves resemble those of a Laurel. It is native to south-east Asia.
Cocculus means "small shell" (Latin) or "snail" (kokhlias in Greek), in reference to the shape of its seeds. Laurifolius means "with Laurel-like leaves" in Latin.
Description and flowering period
Cocculus laurifolius is a densely branched shrub reaching from 1 to 5 meters in height. It has a rounded habit and drooping stems. Its persistent leaves are elliptical and turn from green to a light yellow in autumn. The flowers are small, greenish-white in colour and borne in clusters called racemes. The fruits are rounded drupes (fleshy fruit with a single stone), initially green then red or blackish.
It requires a rich yet free draining soil in a full sun or part-shade position. It is adapted to tropical and subtropical climates.
Its "snail tree" nickname comes from the shape of its seed which resembles a snail shell.
Translated by: François Saint-Hillier – MNHN