Boxwood - Buxus sempervirens


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The plant known as Common Box is a tree and the best known exponent of the Buxaceae family. This contains 4/5 genera (depending on the classifications) with about 60 species of evergreen trees, shrubs and some herbaceous plants. The boxwood is for all gardening enthusiasts that evergreen plant used for the construction of hedges or as a pot plant. One of the characteristics for which boxwood is most appreciated, in addition to its evergreen leaves, is its compactness and ability to keep the typical shape of this plant. Boxwood, also known by the Latin name of buxus sempervirens, it lends itself very well to geometric pruning in the shape of a ball, spiral, pyramid or other and for this reason it is used a lot as an ornamental pot plant.

General features

Shrub or small evergreen tree, native to Europe, Japan and the slow-growing Himalayan plateau, very long-lived; It is widely used as a single plant or as a hedge plant, dwarf varieties are very popular, making up very decorative round cushions. It has dark and wrinkled bark, tending to grayish brown on mature wood, lighter on young wood; the foliage is usually very leafy and compact with small, ovate, leathery leaves, which give off a strong aroma if rubbed; withstands even drastic pruning without problems, it is in fact also widely used in topiary art. In spring it produces clusters of yellowish flowers, insignificant but very fragrant; in summer round fruits, made up of woody capsules containing small seeds. The leaves of some varieties change color in winter, tending to become greenish-yellow.


It is a plant native to Europe, North Africa and western Asia.

Environment: adapts to arid and rocky areas. It grows spontaneously on the Alps and the Apennines. It prefers alkaline soils.


It is rustic and lives well in almost all of our country. It can only have some problems in the high mountains as it can stand the cold down to -17 ° C (zone 7).


it has persistent, opposite, ovate to oblong leaves, up to 2.5 cm long and 1 cm wide, engraved on the apex. The color is dark green and shiny in the upper part, paler in the lower one. The branches are quadrangular. The bark is gray and smooth and splits into small squares with age. It has small, green flowers: the male ones have many yellow antennae, the female ones, on the other hand, have three stigmas. It blooms in the axil of the leaves, in early spring (March-April). It produces capsule fruits, woody and green, up to almost a centimeter long. They open in the fall to free the seeds. It is considered by some to be a large shrub, by others a small tree. It has a very resistant wood.


it is a very long-lived plant. It can live up to 600 years.


it can reach 6 meters in height and, if allowed to grow freely, assumes a wide cone shape. It has a very slow growth which makes it ideal as a hedge or topiary plant.