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How to Identify Yellow Variegated Evergreen Shrubs

Variegated evergreen shrubs are colourful additions to landscaping designs. Used as an accompaniment to flowering plants, for borders, shrubs or ground cover, the surge of yellow within a green leaf adds to the shrub's mystique. Most variegated evergreens are less hardy than pure green evergreens, but they are tolerant of most weather conditions and soils. Use variegated evergreen shrubs for year-round colour in a garden.

Look for a plant with glossy green leaves that are sprinkled with yellow spots. Examine the leaves to see if the spots connect with each other. Feel the edges of the leaves to see if they are serrated and end in a sharp point. If you've answered yes to the above, you have an Aucuba japonica, or golden king shrub.

Identify the Euonymus fortuni, or emerald surprise, by its pointed, broad, dark green leaves that are outlined in bright yellow. Look for small flowers in the springtime or pink fruit later in the season. Cut sprigs for indoor winter decoration.

Examine the leaves of an Euonymus japonicus, or Ovatus aureus, to identify it as a softer version of the emerald surprise. Look at the edging of the leaves to see if it is pale in colour and fades to a light green as it permeates the green leaf. Smell the plant's small green flowers in the summer that produce pink fruits in autumn.

Select another type of Euonymus japonica, this one a denser shrub, named Aureo marginata, by identifying its oval-shaped leaves that have a majority of yellow variegation and very little green showing. Feel the waxy texture of the yellow foliage. Smell the soft fragrance of the small green summer flowers and look for small pink fruit in the autumn. Keep children and animals away from this plant as it is toxic if ingested.

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About the Author

Jann Seal is published in magazines throughout the country and is noted for her design and decor articles and celebrity *in-home* interviews. An English degree from the University of Maryland and extensive travels and relocations to other countries have added to her decorating insight.