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Skimmia reevesiana1.jpg
Genus: Skimmia
Type: Shrubs
Soil requirements: Moist, fertile, well-drained
Propagation: Layering, cuttings
Transplant: Easily moved
Pest issues: rare
Bloom season: Early spring
Fruit season: Winter

Skimmia is a genus of four species of evergreen shrubs and small trees in the Rue family, Rutaceae, all native to warm temperate regions of Asia.


The leaves are clustered at the ends of the shoots, simple lanceolate, 6-21 cm long and 2-5 cm broad, with a smooth margin. The flowers are borne in dense panicles, each flower small, 6-15 mm diameter, with 4-7 petals. The fruit is a red to black drupe 6-12 mm diameter, containing a single seed. All parts of the plant have a pungent aroma when crushed.

Growing conditions[edit]


Species and subspecies


Skimmias are grown as garden plants for their foliage, flowers, and showy red fruits. They are grown in shade, with moist, well-drained, humus-rich soils. They are tolerant of both drought and air pollution. A large number of cultivars have been selected for garden use:

  • Skimmia japonica 'Emerald King'
  • Skimmia japonica 'Fragrans'
  • Skimmia japonica 'Keessen'
  • Skimmia japonica 'Kew White'
  • Skimmia japonica 'Nymans'
  • Skimmia japonica 'Rubella'
  • Skimmia japonica 'Rubinetta'
  • Skimmia japonica 'Ruby Dome'
  • Skimmia japonica 'Wanto'
  • Skimmia japonica 'White Gerpa'
  • Skimmia japonica 'Veitchii'
  • Skimmia japonica subsp. reevesiana 'Ruby King'




Pests and diseases[edit]

Skimmias are fed on by Aphids, the Horse Chestnut Scale, the Garden Leafhopper, and the Southern Red Mite.