Plant Detail

Skimmia japonica

Skimmia japonica (Japanese Skimmia) is a lovely, dense, mounded, evergreen shrub, prized for its fragrant flowers, aromatic leaves, and showy fruits. In mid-spring, large clusters of fragrant, star-shaped, creamy white flowers, occasionally tinged pink, appear at the branch tips. The pretty blooms of female plants give way to ornamental, glossy, bright red berries that ripen in fall and persist through winter. They contrast beautifully with the evergreen foliage of leathery, lance-shaped, rich green leaves, which are clustered in whorls at the branch ends. When crushed, the aromatic leaves exude a pleasant scent. While male flowers are usually more fragrant and larger than female flowers, only female flowers produce attractive red berries. To enjoy a stunning fall and winter fruit display, make sure to plant a male plant near a female plant!

  • Slowly grows into a dome-shaped mound, up to 3-4 ft. tall (90-120 cm) and 4-5 ft. wide (120-150 cm). Female plants tend to spread more than male plants.
  • part-shade to full-shade lover, this plant is easily grown in moderately fertilemoisthumus-richwell-drained soils. Full sun may be tolerated when planted in damp soil, however, the foliage may scorch. Tolerant of pollution.
  • Perfect as a specimen plant, for banks and slopesshrub borderswoodland gardensfoundation plantingshedges, or containers.
  • Low maintenance, this plant is generally disease free but may be affected by horse chestnut scale and fruit tree red spider mites
  • Propagate by semi-hardwood cuttings in late summer
  • Fruits may cause a mild stomach upset if ingested
  • Native to Japan, China, and southeast Asia

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Hardiness 6,7,8
Heat Zones 5,6,7,8,9
Climate Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Rutaceae 
Exposure Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, Mid Spring, Early Summer, Mid Summer, Late Summer
Height 3' - 4'
Spread 4' - 5'
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Chalk, Loam
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Evergreen
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow
Planting Place Banks and Slopes, Beds and Borders, Hedges and Screens, Patio and Containers