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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.


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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

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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'


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Pests and diseases

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


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