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  • Buxus sempervirens L.
  • Buxaceae
  • Box family

Common Names

herbsBush tree

Parts Usually Used

Bark, leaves

Description of Plant(s) and Culture

Boxwood is a small, broadleafed, evergreen tree or shrub; may grow 3 to 4 feet high, it is heavily branched, with angular or winged, slightly hairy twigs. The leaves, 1-1 1/2 inches long, are opposite, leathery, simple, oval to oblong-lanceolate, dark green above and pale beneath. The pale yellow flowers grow in axillary clusters, and the fruit is a globular capsule containing 6 glossy black seeds. Full sun, partial shade in warm climates. Zones 4-8.

Other varieties: dwarf variety (B. suffruticosa); B. microphylla var. koreana, Green Gem, Kingsville Dwarf, Winter Beauty.

Where Found

Found along the Atlantic coast, especially as an ornamental and hedge plant, in dry hills and sandy soil in Europe. Native to southern Europe and Asia. Not strictly an herb, grown mostly for hedges.

Medicinal Properties

Diaphoretic, purgative


Said to be an excellent purgative


Animals have died from eating the leaves.

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