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Skimmia japonica 'Red Riding Hood' (f)
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

A compact evergreen shrub to 1m high, with elliptic, glossy dark green leaves that are aromatic when crushed. Clusters of very fragrant small white flowers open from pink buds in spring, and if pollinated, these are followed by bright red berries in autumn

Synonyms
Skimmia 'Red Riding Hood'
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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
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring White Pink Green
Summer Green
Autumn Green Red
Winter Green
Position
  • Full shade
  • Partial shade
Aspect

East–facing or North–facing or West–facing

Exposure
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

Unresolved

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in moderately fertile, moist but well drained soil, in light to full shade; prefers acidic to neutral soils but will tolerate alkaline soils where there is plenty of humus. Plants may become chlorotic on poor, dry soil or in too much sun. This cultivar produces female flowers, plant a male cultivar nearby to ensure pollination and berries

Propagation

Propagate by semi-ripe cuttings in late summer

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

Minimal pruning required, see pruning group 8 (evergreens) if necessary

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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