Buxus sempervirens
Common name: 
Common Boxwood
Common Box
European Box
Pronunciation: 
BUK-sus sem-per-VI-renz
Family: 
Buxaceae
Genus: 
Type: 
Broadleaf
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
No
  • Broadleaf evergreen shrub, 15-20(30) ft [4.5-6(9) m] high, dense, multibranched, rounded or broad outline. Stem angular ("square").  Leaves opposite, simple, elliptic to oblong, 12-25 mm long, about half as wide, obtuse or emarginate (notched) at apex, dark green above, light or yellowish green below, midvein below is cream to yellowish.  Creamy flowers, without petals, develop in leaf axils in spring, fragrant.  Fruit globose, 8 mm long, three-horned, dehiscent capsule.
  • Sun to part shade. Adaptable, responds well to mulching. Surface rooter.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone (5)6       Native to southern Europe, northern Africa, western Asia.  It is a variable species, both in cultivation and in the wild, and has given rise to many cultivars (26 are described my Dirr, 1998).  The cultivars are much more common in cultivation than is the species.
  • Probably the most common cultivar is 'Suffruticosa', Edging Boxwood; other available selections include:
  • sempervirens: always green, evergreen
  • Oregon State Univ. campus: southeast corner of East Greenhouse (old plant), east side Strand Ag. Hall.
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit

    plant habit

  • vigorous shoots

    vigorous shoots

  • leafy shoot

    leafy shoot

  • flowers and leaves

    flowers and leaves

  • leaves and fruit

    leaves and fruit

  • shoots, comparison

    shoots, comparison