is a genus of four species of evergreen
In botany, an evergreen plant is a plant that has leaves in all seasons. This contrasts with deciduous plants, which completely lose their foliage during the winter or dry season.There are many different kinds of evergreen plants, both trees and shrubs...
A shrub or bush is distinguished from a tree by its multiple stems and shorter height, usually under 5–6 m tall. A large number of plants may become either shrubs or trees, depending on the growing conditions they experience...
s and small tree
A tree is a perennial woody plant. It is most often defined as a woody plant that has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground on a single main stem or trunk with clear apical dominance. A minimum height specification at maturity is cited by some authors, varying from 3 m to...
s in the Rue family, Rutaceae
Rutaceae, commonly known as the rue or citrus family, is a family of flowering plants, usually placed in the order Sapindales.Species of the family generally have flowers that divide into four or five parts, usually with strong scents...
, all native to warm temperate regions of Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...
. The leaves
A leaf is an organ of a vascular plant, as defined in botanical terms, and in particular in plant morphology. Foliage is a mass noun that refers to leaves as a feature of plants....
are clustered at the ends of the shoots, simple, lanceolate, 6-21 cm long and 2-5 cm broad, with a smooth margin. The flower
A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants . The biological function of a flower is to effect reproduction, usually by providing a mechanism for the union of sperm with eggs...
s are in dense panicle
A panicle is a compound raceme, a loose, much-branched indeterminate inflorescence with pedicellate flowers attached along the secondary branches; in other words, a branched cluster of flowers in which the branches are racemes....
clusters, each flower small, 6-15 mm diameter, with 4-7 petals. The fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...
is red to black, 6-12 mm diameter, a fleshy drupe
In botany, a drupe is a fruit in which an outer fleshy part surrounds a shell of hardened endocarp with a seed inside. These fruits develop from a single carpel, and mostly from flowers with superior ovaries...
containing a single seed
A seed is a small embryonic plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat, usually with some stored food. It is the product of the ripened ovule of gymnosperm and angiosperm plants which occurs after fertilization and some growth within the mother plant...
. All parts of the plant have a pungent aroma when crushed. The botanical name, Skimmia
, is a Latinization of shikimi
(シキミ, 樒), which is the Japanese
is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities. It is a member of the Japonic language family, which has a number of proposed relationships with other languages, none of which has gained wide acceptance among historical linguists .Japanese is an...
name for Illicium religiosum
as well as an element in miyama shikimi
(ミヤマシキミ, 深山樒), the Japanese name for Skimmia japonica
Species and subspecies
- Skimmia anquetilia
Skimmia anquetilia is a species of shrub that is cultivated for its decorative fruits and bright pink flowers. It is grown mainly in gardens. It can tolerate frost. Several cultivars were created from this species. It is native to the Himalayas. It has been hybridized with Skimmia japonica to make...
. Western Himalaya to Afghanistan. Shrub to 2 m.
- Skimmia arborescens
Skimmia arborescens is a small tree or shrub. It is grown as an ornamental plant. It ranges from the Himalayas to Southeast Asia....
. Eastern Himalaya to southeast Asia. Shrub or small tree to 15 m.
- Skimmia japonica
Skimmia japonica is a shrub that is popularly cultivated as an ornamental plant in gardens and parks. Its flower can be cream-yellow to white. The fruit is a small round berry that ranges in color from purple to red. It can tolerate frost and droughts. It has been hybridized with Skimmia anquetilia...
. Japan, Korea, China. Shrub to 7 m.
- Skimmia japonica reevesiana subspecies. (syn. S. reevesiana)
- Skimmia laureola
Skimmia laureola is species of shrub grown as an ornamental plant. The leaves are edible when cooked. The leaves give an aromatic smell when crushed. It produces white flowers that develop into small round red berries. The berries are eaten by birds, which disperse the seeds through their...
. Nepal to Vietnam and China. Shrub or small tree to 13 m.
Skimmias are fed on by aphids, Horse Chestnut Scale, Garden Leafhopper, and Southern Red Mite.
Skimmias are grown as garden plants for their foliage, flowers, and showy red fruits. They are grown in shade, with moist, well-drained, humus-rich soils. They are tolerant of both drought and air pollution. A large number of cultivar
A cultivar'Cultivar has two meanings as explained under Formal definition. When used in reference to a taxon, the word does not apply to an individual plant but to all those plants sharing the unique characteristics that define the cultivar. is a plant or group of plants selected for desirable...
s have been selected for garden use:
- Skimmia japonica 'Emerald King'
- Skimmia japonica 'Fragrans'
- Skimmia japonica 'Godrie's Dwarf'
- Skimmia japonica 'Keessen'
- Skimmia japonica 'Kew White'
- Skimmia japonica 'Nymans'
- Skimmia japonica 'Rubella'
- Skimmia japonica 'Rubinetta'
- Skimmia japonica 'Ruby Dome'
- Skimmia japonica 'Wanto'
- Skimmia japonica 'White Gerpa'
- Skimmia japonica 'Veitchii'
- Skimmia japonica subsp. reevesiana 'Ruby King'
- Skimmia × confusa 'Kew Green' (S. anquetilia × S. japonica)