Buxus Sempervirens - Common Box or European Box also known as Boxwood is a flowering plant in the genus Buxus, native to western and southern Europe, northwest Africa, and southwest Asia.
It is an evergreen shrub or small tree growing to 1 - 9m tall, with a trunk up to 20cm diameter, exceptionally to 10m tall and 45cm diameter (Tree Register of the British Isles).
The leaves are oval and arranged in opposite pairs, colour is green to yellow-green, 15 - 30mm long and 5 - 13mm broad. The flowers are inconspicuous, greenish-yellow, with no petals; the fruit is a three-lobed capsule containing 3 - 6 seeds.
The species typically grows on soils derived from chalk, limestone, usually as an understorey in forests of larger trees, most commonly associated with Fagus sylvatica forests, but also sometimes in open dry scrub, particularly in the Mediterranean region. Box Hill, Surrey is named after its notable box population, which comprises the largest area of native box woodland in England.
Cultivation and uses
It is a very popular ornamental plant in gardens, being particularly valued for topiary and hedges because of its tolerance of close shearing, small leaves, and scented foliage.
The wood (boxwood) is very hard and heavy, used for engraving, marquetry, woodturning and mallet heads. The noted English engraver Thomas Bewick pioneered the use of boxwood blocks for engraving.
Ideal for Bonsai and hedging