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Plant of the Week; Sarcococca

7 January 2011
Plant of the Week; Sarcococca

 

Plant of the Week – Sarcococca or Christmas Box

Despite its common name, this hardy shrub does not usually flower until after Christmas. Its flowers are largely insignificant to look at but its fragrance is legendary! There is no other January flowering shrub that can match this one for scent, and just a couple of sprigs brought into the house will bear this out. 

These shrubs are one of the best shade tolerant shrubs for planting under trees and in similar situations. Sarcococca species originate in China and the Himalayas and are related to the common box or Buxus.

Popular varieties include S. confusa (2½ft), S. hookeriana ‘Digyna’ (4ft - pictured) and S. hookeriana ‘Humilis’ (1½ft).