I love Sweet Box

Are you familiar with the plant commonly known as “Himalayan Sweet Box” (Sarcococca hookeriana)?  This is one of those plants I dearly love, especially this time of the year.

Sweet Box is actually a shrub, but it is very low growing and spreads, creating a ground cover. No worries about a horticultural invasion.  It spreads slowly - you’ll actually wish it spread faster than it does. It does need some shade – especially during hot afternoons.  If it gets too much sun in winter, the leaf tips might brown a bit.  But once it is established, it can tolerate dry, shady soils – even those under established trees. It looks fresh, green and tidy all season.

I think it got the name “Sweet Box” because it maintains it shiny green leaves like a boxwood (although they are larger and pointy), but it gets small, intensely fragrant flowers in very early spring (in my garden – about the same time as the snow crocus).

When I say intensely fragrant I’m not kidding.  A couple branches brought inside in a vase perfume my whole family room.  Just the thing I need while I’m waiting impatiently for the weather to warm so I can get out in the garden.

If you don’t have any of this plant, you may want to try it.