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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)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Skimmia laureola


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Skimmia laureola

 

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Summary


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.

Synonyms

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

Habitats

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

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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.

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Propagation

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

 

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Expert comment

Author

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

Botanical References

1151200

Links / References

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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

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