Sheffield Botanical Gardens is the home of the National Collections of Weigela, Diervilla and Sarcococca as designated by Plant Heritage (NCCPG).
Sarcococca Sweet Box, Christmas Box (Buxaceae)
The name is derived from the Greek words sarkos meaning flesh, and kokkos meaning a berry, a reference to the fleshy fruits. A Genus of slow growing evergreen shrubs, grown for their foliage, fragrant, winter flowers and spherical fruits. Flowers are tiny, the only conspicuous parts being the anthers. Useful for cutting in winter. Fully hardy to frost hardy.
Grow as ground cover in a woodland garden or use as a low informal hedge. Tolerant of atmospheric pollution, dry shade and neglect. They enjoy growing in rich organic soil, moist but well drained, a neutral pH is thought to be best. They are easy to grow but take at least a season to establish and can be successful in containers. Plants are usually produced from semi ripe cuttings in late summer. Do not prune into old wood. RHS pruning group 8.
The most popular Sarcococca, slow growing, non-suckering to 1.5m. White fragrant flowers with cream stamens in early
January appear amongst the dark glossy green leaves. Pubescent young shoots. Berries in late winter, they start red then
mature to spherical glossy black with one or two black seeds. Two or three style. The only species to readily produce
self-sown seedlings. Several specimens throughout the Gardens - marked 3 on the map.
Evergreen shrub, spreading readily by suckers, bright green stems to 2.0 m. Leaves, shiny, bright green, long and thin.
White fragrant flowers, in winter, along with the previous years berries, which ripen, shiny black with two or three styles.
S. hookeriana var. digyna
Evergreen erect shrub spreading by suckers, purplish stems to 1.7 m. Leaves narrow, glossy and dark green flushed purple.
Fragrant flowers, cream with sepals tinged pink. Black spherical berries with two styles.
S. hookeriana var. digyna 'Purple Stem'
Erect spreading shrub, with purple stems to 1.5m. Leaves narrow, glossy and dark green flushed purple.
Fragrant flowers in winter with cream filaments and pink tinged sepals. Matt black berries with 2 styles.
Origin: Garden cultivar
S. hookeriana var. digyna 'Schillingii'
Growing to 1.0m tall. Narrow leaves. More densely flowered
than normal with highly scented staminate purple red anthers to the flowers in January to April
along with the previous years blue black berries with three styles.
S. hookeriana var. hookeriana
A suckering shrub with leathery thin leaves, stems to 1.1m tall.
Scented flowers, white with purple anthers in January to April. Purple blue berries ripen along with
the new flowers, with two styles and brown seed. Shade tolerant.
S. hookeriana var. hookeriana 'Ghorepani'
This compact suckering shrub has upright stems with shiny green leaves.
Highly scented creamy white flowers are followed by
rounded near-black berries.
S. hookeriana var. humilis
Slow, low growing, suckering, densely branched evergreen shrub to 0.6m tall. Fragrant white flowers
with a pink tinge in late winter. Oval leaves which are glossy dark green. Berries, spherical and
shiny, purple black with two styles.
S. hookeriana var. humilis 'Fragrant Mountain'
Characterized by large, broad, oblanceolate leaves, its dwarf, consistent and dense but vigorously spreading plant
habit is suitable as a ground cover. Its small highly fragrant white
to pink flowers emerge in mid-winter. Suitable for moist ground and part shade.
Origin: A new shrub cultivar of Sarcococca named 'Sarsid' 2 raised in Canada by Surjit Sidhu. (Sarsid 4)
S. hookeriana var. humilis 'Fragrant Valley'
Has narrow oblanceolate to elliptic shaped leaves. Exhibits a dwarf, consistent and vigorous growth habit.
Produces racemes of small, nearly white, highly fragrant flowers flowering in February. Forms a dense clump,
slowly spreading by rhizomes. Suitable for moist ground and part shade.
Origin: A new shrub cultivar of Sarcococca named Sarsid 1 raised in Canada by Surjit Sidhu. (Sarsid 3)
S. hookeriana var. humilis 'Sarsid 2'
A new cultivar of Sarcococca named 'Sarsid 2', characterized by large and broad oblanceolate shaped leaves,
its dwarf, consistent, and dense but spreading plant habit that is suitable as a ground cover, its vigorous
growth habit, and its small highly fragrant flowers that emerge in mid winter.
S. hookeriana 'Winter Gem'
'Winter Gem' is an upright, dense shrub, growing to about 70 cm high, with glossy, dark-green leaves and
highly-scented white flowers, opening from red buds, in winter. Flowers are followed by spherical
fruit that ripen from red to black.
Origin: Garden hybrid (S. hookeriana var. digyna 'Purple Stem' x S. hookeriana var. humilis), bred by Peter Moore, Longstock Nurseries
Small, compact upright shrub with stout green stems to 1.0 m tall. Long narrow, glossy green leaves. Flowers
fragrant, males with pink tinged anthers and sepals in early winter. Shiny black berries ripen in winter with two styles.
Origin: China (A Roy Lancaster collection in 1980)
Slow growing, dense, compact, spreading and suckering, evergreen shrub to 1.5 m tall. Fragrant, flowers with cream
coloured anthers in late winter. Leaves broader and thicker than most, and glossy dark green. Very few berries
which ripen red, the only species to do so. Female flowers have 3 stigmas.
Origin: Central China
S. ruscifolia var. chinensis
Dense weeping compact evergreen shrub to 0.6 m tall. Similar in general appearance to S. confusa. Fragrant
white flowers in mid winter. Long narrow glossy dark green leaves hide the berries which ripen dark red
in winter with three styles.
Origin: Central and Western China
S.ruscifolia 'Dragon Gate'
Compact little evergreen shrub, grows to less than 1.0 m tall. Flowers mid
winter with all white scented flowers. Leaves are smaller than most Sarcococca. Berries are red, but very few.
Origin: Collected by Roy Lancaster in 1980 in China
S. ruscifolia 'Rudolph'
Ever green compact shrub is a cross between S. confusa and S. ruscifolia.
Grows to less than 1.0 m. It has dense glossy dark green foliage which are broader and shorter than most.
Flowers in late winter with all white scented flowers, followed by glossy red berries with 3 styles 12 months later.
Best grown in moist well drained soil in semi shade.
S. ruscifolia var. ruscifolia
|S. ruscifolia var. ruscifolia is planted out side the main gate on the City side. The other one is in Area R 01|
A small erect shrub with very long and narrow leaves to 1.0 m tall. Greenish white flowers with little scent.
Flowers earlier than most. Glossy green leaves. Dark purple egg shaped berries with 3 styles. Requires partial
shade and moist conditions.
Origin: Nepal, Afghanistan, India
S. saligna f. MFP 2056
A rare evergreen, slow growing shrub which is also scarce in cultivation. Greenish yellow flowers
appear amid the glabrous green stems clad in long tapering lance-shaped glossy leaves, followed by
spherical purple fruits. Requires sheltered shade and moisture, retentive fertile soil. Good on chalk soil.
Origin: Grown from seed collected by Maurice Foster in the north of Pakistan. Bought from Crug Farm Nursery
S. taiwaniana RWJ 9999
A Taiwanese species, has yet to be formally named. Only found in one site by Crug Farm . A relatively small creeping
species with dark green small elliptic to oblong leaves similar in habit to S. hookeriana bearing an abundance
of small staminate scented flowers in late winter with purple stamen and female flowers with persistent styles in twos,
which are succeeded by purple black fruit. Easily grown in shade in a humus-rich soil that is reasonably moist.
Stems: green, erect or recurved, hairless to 3 m tall. Leaves: thin, leathery, long and narrow, bright green above,
light green below, lateral veins triple-nerved. Flowers: fragrant, white with 2 or 3 styles. Berries ripen to black in Spring.
Origin: Burma - Nepal
S. wallichii f. BSWJ 2291
This is a tall grower to about 1.8 m. Small clusters of highly fragrant greenish white flowers appear amid
relatively large elliptic, long pointed, bright green glossy leaves in late winter followed 12 months later
by ovoid black berries. Good on chalk provided they are kept moist. Needs some shade.
Origin: Collected from Northern India by Wynn Jones
S. wallichii f. GWJ 9427
Erect or recurved hairless green stems to 3m tall. Leaf thinly, leathery, long and narrow
lucid green above, light green below. Lateral veins into triplinerved. Berries ripen to
black with 2 or 3 styles in Spring.
Origin: Seed collected from Singalila Ridge near Darjeeling, Northern India by Wynn Jones, Crug Farm.
S. wallichii f. TH 2990
|Grown from seed supplied by Tom Hudson.|