Skimmia is one of the best small evergreen shrubs which has attractive flower buds held over autumn and winter – it can withstand most soil conditions and ideal for any garden border or containers. It prefers partial shade, as it is a woodland plant, but will cope with full sun, as long as soil conditions are not too dry.
Male and female flowers are produced on separate plants, so both plants are needed (planted nearby each other) to cross pollinate in order for the female plant to produce berries. However, some varieties are hermaphrodite which means they are self-fertile and will therefore not need a partner! An example of this is Skimmia japonica subsp.reevesiana. Skimmias flower around April and attract pollinating insects.
Some species are strongly scented: Skimmia japonica ‘Rubella’ is male, as is Skimmia x confusa ‘Kew Green’, whereas Skimmia japonica ‘Pabella’ and Skimmia japonica ‘Veitchii’ (also known as Skimmia ‘Foremanii’) are both female varieties which will produce red berries.