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Buxus sempervirens

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© RHS 1997

Characteristics

Plant type

Shrub

Habit

Bushy

Origin

Native to the UK

Toxicity

Ingestion may cause stomach upset; contact may irritate the skin

Resilience

Hardiness

old H4 (hardy)

Colour

Flower

Pale Yellow in Spring

Foliage

Dark Green in Autumn, Spring, Summer and Winter

Fruit

Pale Green in Summer

Size

Ultimate height

4-8 metres

Ultimate spread

4-8 metres

Time to ultimate height

20-50 years


Preferred common name

common box

Family

Buxaceae


Buxus can be evergreen shrubs or small trees, with simple, leathery, opposite leaves and clusters of small, pale yellow flowers followed by pale green to brown fruits

B. sempervirens is a large, slow-growing evergreen shrub to 5m or more, compact in habit, with small, glossy oval or oblong leaves, and small, yellowish flowers in the leaf axils

Other common names

  • Abassian boxwood
  • European box

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Part shade
  • Full shade

Aspect

  • North-facing, South-facing, East-facing or West-facing
  • Sheltered or Exposed

Cultivation

Grows best in well-drained soil in partial shade; can be scorched by sun and strong winds

Soil

  • Well-drained or Moist but well-drained
  • Acid, Alkaline or Neutral
  • Clay, Chalk, Sand or Loam

Propagation

Propagate from semi-hardwood cuttings

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Drought Resistant, Hedging/Screens, Low Maintenance, Banks and Slopes, Patio/Container Plants, Mediterranean Climate Plants, Ground Cover or Garden Edging


How to care

Pruning

Pruning group 8

Pests

Can get box sucker, mussel scale and box red spider mite

Diseases

Susceptible to a leaf spot and box blight