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At Sunshine we are always looking for the ‘perfect plant’, as indeed are many of our customers. We all want a plant that is evergreen for year-round interest, low maintenance, with compact growth so it doesn’t need regular pruning, great in pots or borders, tolerant of shade, wildlife friendly fragrant flowers in the spring, but maybe with a splash of winter colour too. Impossible, right? A plant like this would surely be too-good-to-be-true. Step forward Skimmia Rubella! A gargantuan presence in the winter garden. It is has a compact mound of glossy evergreen foliage and though it flowers in spring, the tight bright red bud make it a long-lasting focal point of winter colour.

The variety rubella has long been a favourite for winter containers, as centre pieces or on their own. But it is equally at home in a border, filling a difficult dappled shade area inconspicuously, till the beautiful red bud open to clusters of fragrant white, insect friendly flower around April. It is a male form of Skimmia, so it won’t produce berry, but planted near a female form such as ‘Pabella’ or ‘Nymans’, it will help to fertilise and increase the berry yield on these other varieties. It also benefits from a free-draining soil that is pH neutral to acid, so it is often worth planting in an ericaceous compost. Whatever the size of your outside space, no garden is complete without a Skimmia Rubella bringing cheer throughout the winter.

Common Name: Skimmia

Botanical Name: Skimmia Rubella

Flowering Time: April-May

Height and Spread: 1m – 1m

Aspect: Dappled Shade, Part Shade, Full Shade.

Hardiness: Fully Hardy