Skimmia japonica
Common name: 
Japanese Skimmia
SKIM-ee-a ja-PON-i-ka
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Evergreen shrub, 2-4 ft (0.6-1.2 m), dense, rounded, dome-shaped.   Leaves alternate, simple, at end of branches to give a whorled look, 6-13 cm long, dark green above and yellow-green below, aromatic when bruised.  Dioecious (male and female plants), creamy-white flowers open in spring; those on male plants are larger and more fragrant than female.   Fruit (female plants only), 8 mm diam., usually red, some white.
  • Part shade to shade, may get bleached out in sun; prefers moist, acid, high organic matter soils, but may also thrive in limestone soils.  One male plants per six female plants needed for good fruit set.  Frequently suffers from spider mites.
  • Skimmia reevesiana (Reeves Skimmia) is similar, but lower growing, self-fertile, with dull crimson fruit.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone (6)7      Native to Japan
  • Caution: The plant is poisonous, causing cardiac arrest if large quantities are ingested.  The red fruit is the usual cause of poisoning.
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit, spring flowering male plant

    plant habit, spring flowering male plant

  • leaves and male flowers

    leaves and male flowers

  • flowering male and female plants

    flowering male and female plants

  • male and female flowers

    male and female flowers

  • flowers, close-up

    flowers, close-up

  • plant habit, summer

    plant habit, summer

  • leafy shoots

    leafy shoots

  • leaves


  • leaves and immature fruit

    leaves and immature fruit

  • plant habit, fruiting

    plant habit, fruiting

  • leaves and fruit

    leaves and fruit

  • spider mite damaged leaves are common

    spider mite damaged leaves are common