|Soil requirements:||Moist, fertile, well-drained|
|Bloom season:||Early spring|
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.
- Species and subspecies
- Skimmia anquetilia. Western Himalaya to Afghanistan. Shrub to 2 m.
- Skimmia arborescens. Eastern Himalaya to southeast Asia. Shrub or small tree to 15 m.
- Skimmia japonica. Japan, Korea, China. Shrub to 7 m.
- Skimmia japonica subsp. reevesiana (syn. S. reevesiana)
- Skimmia laureola. Nepal to Vietnam and China. Shrub or small tree to 13 m.
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
Skimmias are fed on by Aphids, the Horse Chestnut Scale, the Garden Leafhopper, and the Southern Red Mite.