Sweet Box - Sarcococca
Sweet box shrubs, Sarcococca, have incredibly fragrant blooms. They're one of the first to come out in late winter and early spring. The flowers are small and usually hidden within the shrub, behind the glossy, wax-like green leaves. Berries come after the blooms, usually in summer. Sweet Box shrubs thrive in shade. In fact the more the better. Deer also leave these shrubs alone.
Most Popular Sweet Box Shrubs
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There are three primary species:
Sarcococca Confusa - It is very similar and usually sold as Sarcococca ruscifolia. The biggest difference is the color of the berries. Sarcococca ruscifoli berries are red and Sarcococca confusa is black.
Sarcococca Hookeriana - There are three species all bear black fruit. Hunilis is a low growing, making it great as a shade loving ground cover. It can spread 8 feet or longer using underground suckers. Sarcococca h. is also low growing, a popular shade loving ground cover but only goes about 4 feet wide. Digyna is taller, roughly 5 feet high and 6 feet wide.
Sarcococca Ruscifolia also known as Fragrant Sarcococca. These are slow growing shrubs that get 4 to 6 feet tall and wide. This can be trained to grow against a wall (espalier). The branches will naturally create unique patterns as they fan out.
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