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Sarcococca hookeriana

 
Sarcococca hookeriana
Flower appear in winter or earliest spring
sweet box
Second-year plant
Common name sweet box
Family buxaceae
Life cycle shrub (Z6)
Flowers creamy white (late winter)
Size 18-24"
Light shade

Broadleaf evergreen for shade. If ours are 'Humilis' (the one most described in online references), they will never grow more than 18-24" tall. They appreciate rich organic soil, and don't much care for sun exposure. I grew a batch of them from seed one year - they came up great, and had no problem growing on their first season in our vegetable garden, where they received constant dappled shade from the lattice fence near which they were planted, as well as taller nearby plants. But come spring, most of them turned tan and crispy. Although I don't know for sure what did them in, I suspect the surplus of winter and spring sunlight, without neighbors to shield them, may have contributed. The few survivors found a home in a shady nook by our patio, where they regained their lustrous green color. Since then, they've stayed alive, but haven't really come into their own. I usually miss the small white flowers – they are known for their fragrance, but I find I need to get close up to sample their scent.

This plant used to grow in our garden, but it slipped away...

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Last modified: March 17, 2012
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