Perfect for shady gardens, 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 is 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 the 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 in 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.
- A part shade to full shade lover, this plant is easily grown in moderately fertile, moist, humus-rich, well-drained soils. Full sun may be tolerated when planted in damp soil, however the foliage may scorch. Also tolerant of pollution.
- Perfect as specimen plant, for banks and slopes, shrub borders, woodland gardens, foundation plantings, hedges or containers.
- Low maintenance, this plant is generally disease free but may be affected by horse chestnut scale and fruit tree red spider mite
- Propagate by semi-hardwood cuttings in late summer
- Fruits may cause a mild stomach upset if ingested
- Native to Japan, China and south east Asia