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Skimmia japonica subsp. reevesiana 'Robert Fortune' (f/m)
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

A compact, rounded evergreen shrub to a height of around 60cm with slightly aromatic, leathery leaves. Small, fragrant, creamy-white flowers are produced in dense, conical clusters in spring, followed by red berries in autumn which often remain until the following spring

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Size
Ultimate height
0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height
5–10 years
Ultimate spread
0.5–1 metres
Growing conditions
Sand
Loam
Clay
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Neutral, Acid
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring White Green
Summer Green
Autumn Green Red
Winter Green
Position
  • Full shade
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing or North–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Rutaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Bushy
Potentially harmful
Fruit are ornamental, not to be eaten. Wear gloves and other protective equipment when handling. Pets: Fruit are ornamental, not to be eaten - see the HTA guide to potentially harmful plants for further information and useful contact numbers
Genus

Skimmia are compact evergreen shrubs with simple, aromatic leaves and terminal panicles of small white or yellowish flowers followed, on fertilised female plants, by shiny red berries; most have male and female flowers on separate plants

Name status

Accepted

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in moderately fertile, moist but well-drained, humus-rich soil in shade. Full sun may be tolerated when planted in damp soil. Also tolerant of atmospheric pollution and neglect. May become chlorotic on poor, dry soil or if over-exposed to sun. Dislikes chalky soil

Propagation

Propagate by semi-hardwood cuttings in late summer or propagate by seed sown in containers outdoors in autumn

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Patio and container plants
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Low Maintenance
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Pruning group 8

Pests

May be susceptible to scale insects, and to vine weevil when grown in containers

Diseases

May be susceptible to Phytophthora and honey fungus

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