Common boxwood is a broadly rounded evergreen shrub or small tree. Native to Europe, Asia, and Africa where it is found in open woodlands and rocky hillsides. A popular ornamental evergreen used for hedges, borders, and topiary. So named because its wood was popular for making boxes and cabinets.
Size and form:
A broadly rounded evergreen shrub that reaches 3 to 4 feet high and wide.
Native geographic location and habitat:
Native to Europe, Asia, and Africa.
Bark color and texture:
New growth is angular and green. Mature stems are tan to light brown.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture:
Opposite, small, oval to oblong leaves with smooth-margins are ½ inch to 1-½ inches in size. Leaves are glossay and dark green above and yellowish-green below with a malodorous fragrance. Winter sun can cause bronzing.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size:
Flowers in early spring. Pale green to yellow to creamy white flowers are inconspicuous and borne in axillary clusters.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:
Fruit is a 1/3 inch, dehiscent capsule that matures to brown.
Best in part shade, but tolerant of full sun with adequate soil moisture. Plants in deep shade will be more open and loose. Avoid windy sites. Prune as needed. Can be sheared and shaped in early spring, but avoid late summer pruning as the new growth will not harden off for winter. Remove heavy snow cover to avoid winter damage.
List of pests, diseases, tolerances and resistance:
Susceptible to winter frost cracking during sudden temperature drops, volutella, phytophthora, boxwood psyllid, leafminers, and mites. All plant parts are poisonous. Deer and rabbit resistant.
North Star® common boxwood (Buxus sempervirens ‘Katerberg’):
A densely globe-shaped cultivar, reaching 2 to 2 1/2 feet high, it requires little pruning to retain shape.
Schmidt common boxwood (Buxus sempervirens ‘Schmidt’):
An upright evergreen cultivar reaching 5 to 7 feet high and 4 feet wide.
Vardar Valley common boxwood (Buxus sempervirens ‘Vardar Valley’):
A cultivar that is a low-growing, flat-topped mound, reaching 2 to 3 feet high and 4 to 5 feet wide, with excellent dark bluish-green foliage.