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Arbre escargot à feuilles de laurier (Cocculus laurifolius) - Jardin botanique Val Rahmeh-Menton © MNHN - Agnès Iatzoura
Arbre escargot à feuilles de laurier (Cocculus laurifolius) - Jardin botanique Val Rahmeh-Menton © MNHN - Agnès Iatzoura

Laurel-leaved snail-tree

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.

Identity Card

Common name
Laurel-leaved snail-tree, platter-leaf
Binominal name
Cocculus laurifolius DC.

Taxonomy

kingdom
Plantae
Family
Menispermaceae

Detailed Informations

Area of origin
South-East Asia

Etymology

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.

Habitat

It requires a rich yet free draining soil in a full sun or part-shade position. It is adapted to tropical and subtropical climates.

Uses

Ornamental.

Notes

Its "snail tree" nickname comes from the shape of its seed which resembles a snail shell.

Translated by: François Saint-Hillier – MNHN

Arbre escargot à feuilles de laurier (Cocculus laurifolius) - Jardin botanique Val Rahmeh-Menton © MNHN - Agnès Iatzoura
Arbre escargot à feuilles de laurier (Cocculus laurifolius) - Jardin botanique Val Rahmeh-Menton © MNHN - Agnès Iatzoura