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Skimmia japonica

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
SKIM-ee-uh juh-PON-ih-kuh
This plant has medium severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Japanese Skimmia is a low, evergreen shrub that grows to 4 feet tall and as wide or wider. It provides year-round interest with evergreen leaves, showy spring flowers in clusters and red fall drupes that persist into winter. The flowers and foliage are both fragrant. You must plant 1 male plant for every 6 female plants to get good fruit production.

Plant this shrub in rich, acidic, well-drained soils in part to full shade. It prefers morning sun then dappled shade for the rest of the day. Use as a hedge, an understory shrub of large trees, or en mass. It has also been used in bonsai.

Berries are poisonous in large quantiies. 

 

See this plant in the following landscapes:
Container Garden Pots on Hardscape
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Dwarf Male'
  • 'Fragrans'
    Male plant with white flowers
  • 'Nymans'
    Female shrub with red berries
  • 'Pabella'
    Female shrub with red fruits.
  • 'Rubella'
    Red buds open to white flowers
'Dwarf Male', 'Fragrans', 'Nymans', 'Pabella', 'Rubella'
Tags:
#evergreen
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Dwarf Male'
  • 'Fragrans'
    Male plant with white flowers
  • 'Nymans'
    Female shrub with red berries
  • 'Pabella'
    Female shrub with red fruits.
  • 'Rubella'
    Red buds open to white flowers
'Dwarf Male', 'Fragrans', 'Nymans', 'Pabella', 'Rubella'
Tags:
#evergreen
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Skimmia
    Species:
    japonica
    Family:
    Rutaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Asia
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 5 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Poisonous
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Mounding
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7b, 7a, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Drupe
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    3/8 inch red berries appear in clusters and mature to bright red in fall on female plants. Persists into winter.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    2-3 inch long terminal panicles of creamy-white to pink-tinged flowers occur in spring. The individual star-shaped flowers are 1/4-1/3 inch across and fragrant. Male plants may have larger, more fragrant flowers but female plants bear the berries.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leathery
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Whorled
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Alternate, simple, leathery, oval medium green leaves are crowded whorl-like at end of the stems and are 2.5 to 5 in. long. Undersides yellow-green.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Lawn
    Patio
    Slope/Bank
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Garden for the Blind
    Shade Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Foundation Planting
    Hedge
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Heavy Shade
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Medium
    Poison Symptoms:
    Causes abortion, cardiac arrest in large amounts. Small amounts can cause nausea.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Unknown.
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Fruits