Skimmia reevesiana
Skimmia reevesiana
Skimmia reevesiana is a gorgeous and highly ornamental dwarf, evergreen shrub native to South China and Southeast Asia. It was first discovered and described for western science in 1848 by Scottish botanist, and well-known plant hunter Robert Fortune (1812 – 1880). He found it in a Shanghai nursery, where it was the rarest and most prized of the owner’s possessions. The plant had originally been collected from the Hwang Shan, a mountain some 250 miles to the south-west of Shanghai.With some persuasion, the owner agreed to part with his specimen and it reached the Standish and Noble nursery in Sunningdale, Surrey in 1849.

Skimmia reevesiana
Skimmia reevesiana blooms
Under favourable conditions you can expect mature Skimmia reevesiana specimens to reach an height of 0.9 metres, forming a low. compact mound. The leaves are narrowly elliptic with a pale margin. Unlike the diecious Skimmia japonica from which it was believed to be a subspecies of, the flowers of Skimmia reevesiana are hermaphrodite and self pollinating. The blooms are creamy-white and borne in short, terminal clusters in May. These are followed by ovoid, matt crimson-red berries which will last throughout the winter. The berries are particularly long lasting and are usually still present when the flowers appear again in the following spring.

Plant Skimmia reevesiana in September and October or in March and April. It will require a moist but well-drained, rich, lime-free soil in partial to deep shade.

Skimmia reevesiana received the Award of Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society in 1962, and then the Award of Garden Merit in 1984.

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