Buxaceae (box family) Buxus

Buxus sempervirens boxwood, English boxwood

Europe, N. Africa, W. Asia

Shrub, compact growth, invariably sheared to form a low hedge. Leaves are simple, opposite, bright green, ½- to 1½-inch long. Common boxwood like Japanese boxwood has opposite leaves and small, inconspicuous flowers. One of the most commonly used varieties is the dwarf with small leaves suffruticosa, which can be seen in the Tommy Church Courtyard near Japanese boxwood. If unmolested, some varieties (e.g., arborescens) will form a small tree (growing in the Toyon front coutyard). Another variety, rotundifolia, complicates the usefulness of leaf-form in distinguishing between the two boxwoods.

Thomas Church courtyard, Green Library at Lasuen Mall, Manzanita Park, Oval around central flowers.

Illustrations: leaf comparison B. microphylla and B. sempervirens.

Name derivation: Buxus – the classical Latin name; sempervirens – evergreen.

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

About this Entry: John Rawlings authored the text ca. 2005.