Skimmia japonica ‘Rubella’
A fantastic value plant for year-round interest, with attractive spires of burgundy buds held throughout Autumn – Winter before opening into soft pale blush flowers in Spring. A small compact evergreen, perfect for part to full shade in a bed or container display.
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‘Rubella’ is a popular male cultivar of Skimmia japonica, a species that grows wild in many parts of South East Asia, China and Japan. The genus name was created by European botanists from the Japanese word for the plant, which is ‘Miyama shikimi.’ The first record of Skimmias grown in Europe was at Kew Gardens in 1838.
Like most of cultivars it has bred to stay reasonably compact. Some are even occasionally selected for bonsai cultivation, but the original species can grow to 6m tall.
Popular with gardeners and pollinators
The flowers are lightly fragranced and the dark leathery foliage has a subtle aromatic scent, adding sensory interest to even the smallest garden. Skimmias are versatile shrubs, often used to fill gaps in larger mixed borders or to create smart container displays that live colour all through the colder months. They are also very suitable for creating low screening or hedges due to their dense evergreen habit.
Care & Size Guidance
They will tolerate some sun with very attentive watering in the summer, so it’s much easier to keep them looking good in a shadier spot. If you have chalky or alkaline soil, it is better to keep them as container specimens using neutral or ericaceous compost.