Handsome shrub from Japan and China. Compact, slow grower to 25 feet or taller, 36 feet wide. Glossy, rich green leaves are oval and pointed, to 34 inches long and 1 inches wide, most often clustered toward the twig ends. In spring, 2- to 3 inches clusters of tiny, fragrant white flowers open from pinkish buds held well above foliage. Flowers are larger and more fragrant on male plants. If a male plant is present, female plants produce bright red fruit resembling holly (Ilex) berries in fall and winter; these are attractive enough to make planting both sexes worth the effort. Plants tend to be sold as simply male and female rather than by selection name. A form with ivory-white berries is available. S. j. reevesiana (sometimes sold as S. reevesiana) is looser and more open in habit, growing slowly to 1123 feet high, 23 feet wide; it is self-fertile, producing dull red berries.
Good under windows, beside shaded walks, flanking entryways, in containers. Prefers moist, highly organic, acid soils; must have good drainage. Mites are the main pests; they give foliage a sunburned look. Thrips may also attack. Shield from cold, sweeping winds.