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Zones 4-9, 14-24, 28-34
Partial SunNo Sun
Partial, Shade
Regular Water

Sarcococca ruscifolia

Sweet Box
Evergreen, Shrubs


Though its small white flowers are nearly hidden among waxy evergreen leaves, Sarcococca’s fragrance can perfume much of the winter garden. Small berrylike fruit follows. Shade tolerance gives these handsome shrubs special value under overhangs, in entryways, and beneath low-branching evergreen trees. Plants maintain slow, orderly growth and polished appearance in deepest shade. They also tolerate sun in cool-summer climates if the soil is not allowed to become too dry. Best in organically enriched soil. Scale insects are the only pests.

Sarcococca ruscifolia

Slow growth to 4–6 ft. tall and 3–7 ft.wide. If grown against a wall, it will form a natural espalier, with branches fanning out to create patterns. Oval to elliptical leaves to 2 in. long are densely set on branches. Red fruit.

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