Skimmia japonica - Thunb.
Common Name Japanese Skimmia
Family Rutaceae
USDA hardiness 6-7
Known Hazards A poisonous alkaloid called 'skimmianin' is found in all parts of the plant[211].
Habitats Woods, sometimes as an epiphyte on old Cryptomeria spp trees, in C. and S. Japan[58].
Range E. Asia - Japan.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade Full sun

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Bloom Color: White. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Rounded, Vase.

Skimmia japonica Japanese Skimmia
Skimmia japonica Japanese Skimmia
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of shrub
Skimmia japonica is an evergreen Shrub growing to 2 m (6ft) by 2 m (6ft) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Apr to May, and the seeds ripen from Oct to December. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required)The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.

S. fragrantissima. S. oblata.

Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; not Deep Shade; Ground Cover;
Edible Uses
None known
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Carminative;  Restorative;  Tonic.

The poisonous stems are carminative, restorative and tonic[178, 218].


Other Uses
Plants can be grown as a ground cover when planted about 1 metre apart each way[208].
Cultivation details
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Foundation, Pest tolerant, Massing, Woodland garden. Succeeds in a well-drained open loam or in a peaty soil[11, 200] preferring a rich slightly acid soil[184]. Thrives in moderately shady positions[11, 200] but also succeeds in full sun where the leaves may be rather yellow but the plant will flower and fruit better[200]. Plants are very tolerant of atmospheric pollution[184], being unharmed by deposits of soot or a sulphur-laden atmosphere[245]. Plants are hardy to about -15°c[184]. Often cultivated in the ornamental garden, there are many named varieties. The flowers have a sweet perfume[245]. Those of male forms are more aromatic than females[1], whilst the variety 'Fragrans' has a stronger scent like lily of the valley[245]. The bruised leaves are pleasantly aromatic[245]. The fruit is seldom eaten by birds, usually hanging on the plant until it flowers the following year[182]. A polymorphic species, it is usually dioecious but some forms are hermaphrodite, especially in ssp. reevesiana. (Fortune.)N.P.Taylor.&Airey Shaw[200]. This sub-species is intolerant of chalky soils[182] and is also much taller than the type. Another report says that it is smaller and weaker-growing than the type species[188]. Special Features:Not North American native, Fragrant flowers, Attractive flowers or blooms.
Seed - can be sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[K]. It also succeeds when sown in early spring. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a shady position in the cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. If there is sufficient seed then it can be sown can be in an outdoor seedbed in early spring[200]. Grow the plants on in the seedbed for a couple of years before planting them out in late autumn or early spring. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a cold frame[11]. Cuttings of nearly mature side shoots, 7 - 10cm with a heel, September in a cold frame. Slow to root, they should be left for 18 months before moving to their permanent positions. Good percentage[78]. Layering in autumn. Takes 18 months. Good to high percentage[78].
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
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Subject : Skimmia japonica  

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