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BUXUS sempervirens

Image of Buxus sempervirens

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Buxaceae

Botanical Name

BUXUS sempervirens

Plant Common Name

Common Boxwood, European Box

General Description

Common box is a dense, rounded broadleaf evergreen shrub grown for its glossy green foliage and neat habit. Native to Europe, North Africa and Turkey, it is a classic hedge and specimen plant in many of the great European gardens. It tolerates shearing and can be shaped in ornamental forms. Its small leaves give the sheared plant a tidy texture.

Common box thrives in partial shade to full shade on fertile, well-drained soil. In alkaline soils, climates with dry, hot summers, and sites in full sun this shrub will not grow or look its best. This species is only moderately cold-hardy and can be bothered by mites, leaf miners and nematodes (tiny root worms). But there are many cultivars that are hardier and stronger than the species. A few to consider are 'Northern Beauty', 'Welleri', 'Vardar Valley', 'Northland', 'Pullman' and 'Northern Find.’

Use the cultivars of common box for specimen plants, for evergreen color in mixed borders, and for hedges, unsheared in informal gardens or sheared in formal gardens.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 6

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    6 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 15, 16, 17

  • Plant Type

    Broadleaf Evergreen

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    15'-20' / 4.6m - 6.1m

  • Width

    15'-20' / 4.6m - 6.1m

  • Native To

    Europe, Southern Europe, Turkey, Northern Africa

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Spreading

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Edging, Foundation, Hedges, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No