Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Japanese Skimmia
Skimmia japonica

Family: Rutaceae (roo-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Skimmia (SKIM-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: japonica (juh-PON-ih-kuh) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

9 members have or want this plant for trade.


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Partial to Full Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Flowers are fragrant

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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6 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive suewylan On Nov 13, 2010, suewylan from North Fork, CA (Zone 7b) wrote:

I found two of these on a sale table at Lowe's. They can't take the heat of a western exposure in Zone 7. The leaves get sunburned brown. Will move them to the shade and try that. They weren't labeled male or female. Nice green color otherwise.

Positive spanky_MD On May 19, 2009, spanky_MD from Baltimore, MD wrote:

I have two of these in a garden where deer come often. They have eaten hostas and young azaleas growing next to the skimmias but have not touched the skimmias.

The glossy dark green leaves are beautiful and they grow fairly quickly. The only problem is that they're a little hard to find in nurseries. Azaleas are way more popular here, which is a shame for skimmia fans.

Positive Bubbah On May 25, 2008, Bubbah from Memphis, TN wrote:

The leaves are EXTREMELY fragrant when crushed and make a great popourri addition. This plant looks like it may be related to the anise species.

Positive bbc On Dec 3, 2004, bbc from Chesterfield, NJ (Zone 6b) wrote:

I have very deep shade areas in summer due to many Shaggy Bark Hickory trees creating a full canopy. The Skimmia along with Liriope are some of the few plants that have thrived in this dark setting.

Positive wannadanc On Apr 2, 2003, wannadanc from Olympia, WA wrote:

I want to emphasize the intoxicating fragrance of both the male and female when they are in the bloom stage .... early spring here in the Pacific Northwest.

Neutral Evert On Dec 30, 2001, Evert from Helsinki
Finland (Zone 4b) wrote:

Skimmia is a hardy evergeen bush which can be grow either inside or outside. It survives even the Southern Finland winters, so I think it can be grown in USDA zones 4-5 also. Don't plant it alone in the middle of garden, it likes to grow with a few other skimmias.

Positive Terry On Aug 30, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Beautiful glossy leaves are fragrant and evergreen. The white flowers are larger and more fragrant on the male plant. The berries that appear on pollinated female plants make it worthwhile to plant both male and female plants.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

East Haddam, Connecticut
Bear, Delaware
Shreveport, Louisiana
Hyattsville, Maryland
Lutherville Timonium, Maryland
Centerville, Massachusetts
Eastham, Massachusetts
Trenton, New Jersey
Fuquay Varina, North Carolina
Warrensville, North Carolina
Cincinnati, Ohio
Franklin, Ohio
Berwyn, Pennsylvania
Norristown, Pennsylvania
Souderton, Pennsylvania
Conway, South Carolina
Murrells Inlet, South Carolina
Memphis, Tennessee
Oakton, Virginia
Battle Ground, Washington
Bothell, Washington
East Port Orchard, Washington
Lake Stevens, Washington
Langley, Washington

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