We need to raise £10,000 from user donations to get our finances in balance. More >>>

Follow Us:


Skimmia laureola - (DC.)Siebold.&Zucc. ex Walp.

Common Name
Family Rutaceae
USDA hardiness 6-9
Known Hazards A poisonous alkaloid called 'skimmianin' is found in all parts of the related S. japonica, it is probably also present in this species[211].
Habitats An undershrub in rocky places in oak and fir forests, 2400 - 3600 metres from C. Nepal to N. China[51, 146, 184].
Range E. Asia - N.W. Himalayas to N. China.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Skimmia laureola

Skimmia laureola


Translate this page:

You can translate the content of this page by selecting a language in the select box.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Skimmia laureola is an evergreen Shrub growing to 1.5 m (5ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf all year, in flower from April to June. The species is dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required). . The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.


S. melanocarpa. Reh.&Wils. Limonia laureola.


Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Ground Cover;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses: Condiment.

Leaves - cooked. Used as a condiment[272]. The strongly aromatic leaves are used in curries or as a flavouring for other foods[146, 177, 183].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

The leaves are used in the treatment of smallpox[240]. The smoke produced by burning them is said to purify the air[240].

Other Uses

Essential;  Incense;  Wood.

An essential oil in the leaves is used in scenting soap[61, 240, 272]. The dried leaves are used as an incense[61, 145, 211]. The fresh leaves are used to make garlands for weddings[211]. Plants can be grown as a ground cover when planted about 1 metre apart each way[208]. Wod - used to make handles of small farming implements such as hoes and axes[272].

Cultivation details

Succeeds in a well-drained open loam or in a peaty soil in a sunny position[1]. Probably flowers well in the shade[11]. Plants are very tolerant of atmospheric pollution, being unharmed by deposits of soot or a sulphur-laden atmosphere[245]. This species is not very frost-hardy and so is rather tender in much of Britain[1]. The flowers are sweetly scented[184]. The small yellow flowers are oppressively scented, giving a somewhat unpleasant smell near to, though agreeable at a distance[245]. The bruised leaves are strongly aromatic[245]. The plant is superficially similar to Daphne cannabina and is often mistaken for that species[211]. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.


The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

Shop Now


Seed - can be sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[K]. It also succeeds when sown in early spring. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a shady position in the cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. If there is sufficient seed then it can be sown can be in an outdoor seedbed in early spring[200]. Grow the plants on in the seedbed for a couple of years before planting them out in late autumn or early spring. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a cold frame[11]. Cuttings of nearly mature side shoots, 7 - 10cm with a heel, September in a cold frame. Slow to root, they should be left for 18 months before moving to their permanent positions. Good percentage[78]. Layering in autumn. Takes 18 months. Good to high percentage[78].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants


Print Friendly and PDF

Expert comment


(DC.)Siebold.&Zucc. ex Walp.

Botanical References


Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

   Fri Apr 17 2009

what is the latin root???!

   Oct 6 2011 12:00AM

S. laureola shrub is undergrowth of the fir forests in Gulmag Kashmir.Gulmarg experiences heavy snow fall and low temperatures during winter months , therefore the plant may not be frost tender. During heavy snow Kashmir stage remove the snow over these bushes and feed on it. The leaves are used in religious ceremonies by Kashmir Hindus AR Wadoo

QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.

2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.

3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the pfaf.org website on their phone.

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at admin@pfaf.org. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Skimmia laureola  
All the information contained in these pages is Copyright (C) Plants For A Future, 1996-2012.
Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567,
Web Design & Management
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Some information cannot be used for commercial reasons or be modified (but some can). Please view the copyright link for more information.