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Graham Rice's New Plants Blog

Graham Rice Garden writer and plantsman Northamptonshire and Pennsylvania

Editor-in-Chief of the RHS Encyclopedia of Perennials; writer for a wide range of newspapers and magazines including The Garden and The Plantsman; member of the RHS Herbaceous Plant Committee and Floral Trials Committee; author of many books on plants and gardens.

  • Date Joined: 18 Oct 2006

Skimmia ‘Temptation': new self-fertile variety

Posted by Graham Rice on 29 Mar 2012 at 09:15 PM

Skimmia 'Temptation' - new self fertile varietySkimmias are valuable evergreens with two seasons of interest: spring flowers and winter berries. But, mostly, they come in male and female varieties so that you need two different plants, one of each, to ensure that those bright scarlet berries are produced on just one of them.

‘Temptation’ is different. The plants are self-fertile, only one plant is needed for the fruit to develop, so all plants of ‘Temptation’ produce berries without another plant nearby for pollination.

The other problem with some of the older varieties is that although they may srat small, they eventually become uncomfortably tall for many modern gardens. ‘Tempation’ is shorter, and more bushy, so makes a more effective garden plant. Its root growth is strong, unlike the other self-fertile form, S. japonica subsp. reevesiana, and its berries are a much brighter red.

‘Temptation’ is the result of more than twenty years of careful selection at Wageningen University in Holland where it was picked out by breeder Margaret Hop in 2005.

‘Temptation’ is sufficiently compact to make a good two season container plant, and also thrives in any fairly well-drained garden soil in sun or partial shade.

You can order Skimmia ‘Temptation from these RHS Plantfinder nurseries and from Hillier Online.

You can find out more about the shrub breeding of Margaret Hop in the June 2009 issue of the RHS magazine The Plantsman.

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