Buxus microphylla japonica. JAPANESE BOXWOOD. Japan, Korea
Buxaceae

Shrub, compact growth, usually sheared to form a low hedge. Leaves are simple, opposite, bright green in summer, to 1+-inch long. In winter the leaves can take on a bronze caste, which many find displeasing but which also distinguishes it at a glance from common boxwood, Buxus sempervirens. Japanese boxwood's leaves have rounded tips, frequently with a tiny notch, and are broader above the middle. Common boxwood's leaves are more or less pointed and broader below the middle. This latter leaf description, however, also applies to common myrtle, Mrytus communis, another widely used opposite-leaved hedge plant. Myrtle leaves are thinner, a bit shinier, sharper-pointed, and generally larger (except for selections such as 'Buxifolia'), and its white flowers and bluish black berries are conspicuous, if any escape shearing. The boxwoods have small, inconspicuous flowers and fruit, described as dehiscent capsules.

Braun Center, Buck Estate, Main Quad at Thomas Church courtyard, Toyon Hall courtyard.

Illustrations (links open new windows): leaf comparison B. microphylla and B. sempervirens

Additions/Revisions: This is a new entry, not in book.

Name derivation, genus | species the classical Latin name | small-leaved | Japanese

Related material: Stanford Grounds Plant Information Sheet. List No.13, page 5

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