These useful shrubs are attractive in, flower and fruit and will grow well in all reasonably fertile soils, in sun or in shade. The most popular kind, Skimmia japonica, grows 3 to 5 ft. high, has small white in spike-like clusters and segregates male and female on separate
bushes. Only the females produce crops of berries and then only if fertilized with pollen from a male so it is wise to plant both sexes. However, this is no hardship since the males are most effective in flower, especially such varieties as fragrans, in which the flowers are scented, or rubella, in which the flower buds are red. Foremannii is a good female variety and usually the berries remain so long that they are still there the following spring when the plants start to flower again or even when the next crop of berries has set.
Skimmia reevesiana (also known as S. fortunei) has flowers of both sexes on the same bush so if there is only room for one plant this is the kind to choose provided the soil does not contain chalk, to which it objects. It is shorter than S. japonica and has narrower, but otherwise the effect is similar.