Skimmia japonica 'PEROSA'

Skimmia japonica
Skimmia japonica  'PEROSA'
Japanese skimmia
SIZE/TYPE low or groundcovering
 small shrub
LEAVES evergreen broadleaf
COLOUR OF LEAVES varigated:blue-green and cream and pink
COLOUR OF FLOWERS combined:deep red and white
LOCATION semi-shade to shade
SOIL TYPE acidic (peaty)
SOIL MOISTURE REQUIREMENTS evenly moist (dislikes drought)
USDA zone (lowest) 6   (down to -23°C)
FOR ZONE 5+6 Code of winter protection zone 5+6
FOR ZONE 7 Code of winter protection zone 7
BELONGS TO CATEGORIES Evergreen broadleaf
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Skimmia is a small, evergreen shrub from Japan. After the year 2000 there have been a number of new varieties which are still being tested for stability of their featured characteristics. The aim is to select plants distinctly different from the species. They are usually split by sex: profusely flowering male plants, and attractive fruit producing female plants. Varieties also differ from one another by habit, and lately also leaf colour, respectively its variegation.

In 2017 Dutch grower T.C. van Eijk comes with a gorgeous new variety of Japanese skimmia with variegated leaves. There have been a few skimmias with variegated foliage already but they are dwarf. Perosa is not and though it exhibits dense and compact growth its leaves are comparable in size with the species or perhaps a bit larger. They are 10-14 cm long, 4-5 cm wide, evergreen, leathery, narrowly ovate, and quite irregular in shape, acuminate, pale green with random silver marbling, and almost white edges. In autumn, all white parts turn bright pink which makes a stunning display along with deep maroon flower buds which lasts until spring before the flowers open.

Flowers are tiny, white with pink tones, composed in terminal racemes, and intensely fragrant – almost like lilacs. Perosa is a male, non-fruiting variety but a great pollinator for all female skimmias producing berries in late summer. It grows slowly into a mounding shrub about 50 cm tall and twice as wide. European patent No. EU45793 was granted in 2017.

If you plant it well you needn’t look after it any longer except for occasional watering in dry spells. There are a few rules you have to follow if you want your skimmia look perfect: the soil has to be always moist but extremely well-drained, acidic (add peat), light (add leaf mould), and most of all humus-rich. The best location is dappled shade or even deep shade (shady back of your house or under thick canopies of tall trees). When leaves turn pale or even yellow the plant suffers from too much sun or water, or too little nutrients in the soil.

Skimmia is tolerant of atmospheric pollution which makes it an ideal choice for urban landscapes. Being suitable for all-year-round cultivation in outdoor pots it is widely used by trendy restaurants and cafes as a decoration of their outdoor seating areas where thanks to its compact habit it does not take up space. Just avoid sunny locations. The plant is poisonous. It is hardy to about -25°C (USDA zone 5b-6).

Last update 27-11-2020

Skimmia japonica
Skimmia japonica
  • STANDARD QUALITY - Plants of this group are 1st class quality with number of branches and overall density adequate to their size and age, considering they were container grown.
  • DE LUXE QUALITY - This label guarantees a luxurious quality of manually selected plants that, compared to their height and age, are exceptionally dense and beautiful.
  • EXTRA - These plants are usually mature and bigger specimens with exceptional overall appearance.
  • STANDARD (as described in the plant form) means a tree with a trunk of 190-210 cm and a crown at the top, unless specified differently. The commercial size for trees is their girth measured in the height of 1m from ground.
  • HOBBY - These plants are of the same quality as our standard-quality plants but younger and therefore cheaper.
  • SHRUB - a woody plant with branches growing bushy from the ground level.
  • HALF-STANDARD or MINI-STANDARD - a small tree with shorter trunk, its size is usually specified.
  • FEATHERED - These are trees with branches growing already from the base of the trunk and up along the stem.
  • GRASSES and PERENNIALS - Sizes given usually read the diameter of the pot or the clump, as specified.
LARGE PLANTS over 150 cmspecimens, screening and hedging shrubs

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