Common Name: sweet box
Origin/Ecology: Native to western China
Habit: Grows to 2 m tall, 1 m wide. Compact, dome-shaped, sometimes suckering (basal growth via rhizomes). Arching green branches get heavy and flop over.
Leaves: glossy green ovate leaves, wavy, 3-5 cm long, drip tips.
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Flowers and Fruit: honey-scented white flowers in winter, followed by glossy spherical fruits, 5 mm in diameter, turn red before turning black, can persist into following winter. Birds like the fruit.
Water Use, Soil: Adaptable; can grow in very dry soil.
Exposure: Can tolerate dense shade to full sun, but foliage will bleach a bit in full sun.
Landscape Uses: Ground cover, banks and slopes, low maintenance, cottage/informal garden, food for wildlife, fragrance.
Limitations: Generally pest free.