Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Skimmia Thunb. nom. cons.

Erect shrubs or sometimes creeping low shrubs with adventitious roots or trees, evergreen, slightly to strongly aromatic; dioecious or monoecious. Stem of 1 to 3 year's age green or blackish, later with pale creamy-grey or yellowish bark, inconspicuously lenticellate. Leaves alternate, simple, obovate to oblanceolate or narrowly elliptic, cuneate to rounded at base, acute or rounded or abruptly acuminate to attenuate-caudate at apex, entire or slightly crenulate near apex along margins, chartaceous or coriaceous, moderately to dark green above, pale to yellowish-green beneath; petioles green, brownish or reddish. Inflorescences terminal thyrsoid, paniculate cymes, globose to elongate-oblong or pyramidal, lax or dense, puberulent. Flowers functionally unisexual or bisexual, 4 - 5(-7)-merous, except in number of stamens which is as many as number of petals. Ovary 2 - 5 carpellate, 2 - 5-lobed, subglobose, vestigial in male flowars; style stout, shorter or equalling ovary, deciduous or persistent; stigma 2 - 5-lobed. Fruit a fleshy drupe, globose, rarely pyriform, red or black, with 1 - 5, 1-seeded, leathery, angular endocarps; seeds ovoid, albuminous, testa membranous; cotyledons rounded to oblong, yellowish-green.

Subtropical and temperate zones of Asia; throughout Himalayas (eastwards from E. Afghanistan through India), Myanmar, China, E. Asiatic Islands, Philippines, N. &. S. Vietnam, Laos and Thailand; 4 species; 3 in India.

Literature. TAYLOR, N.P.(1987) A revision of the genus Skimmia (Rutaceae). Kew Magazine 4(4): 168 - 194.


1a. Drupe red; erect or creeping low shrubs up to 1.5 m high 1. Skimmia anquetilia
b. Drupe black; small trees or erect shrubs up to 15 m tall or Jow creeping shrubs Jess than 1 m high 2
2a. Leaves slightly aromatic when bruised, apex attenuate-caudate, caudex 10 - 15 mm long; petioles green or reddish 2. Skimmia arborescens
b. Leaves strongly aromatic when bruised, apex acute and shortly acuminate, acumen 5 - 10 mm long; petioles green or brownish 3. Skimmia laureola

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