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Boxwood

American boxwood? English boxwood? Japanese boxwood? What’s the difference?!

American boxwood, Buxus sempervirens, has many different cultivars. For example- Graham Blandy (Buxus sempervirens ‘Graham Blandy’) is an American boxwood variety. Most American boxwood cultivars are cold tolerant, with leaves that are rather long ovals with more pointed tips.

English boxwood, Buxus sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’, is a dwarf boxwood, and is technically a form of American boxwood. It is a dense variety with more oval leaves.

Japanese boxwoods, Busus microphylla japonica, are very adaptable. Wintergreen boxwood (Buxus microphylla japonica ‘Wintergreen’) is an example of a Japanese boxwood. Japanese boxwoods are typically very heat tolerant.

American

Buxus sempervirens

Description

A classic, large-growing boxwood that has stood the test of time. Extensively planted in Colonial American landscapes. Excellent winter foliage color. Cuttings are often used for holiday decorations. In ideal environment, plant will continue to grow for 75 to 150 years and develop into a massive shrub. Evergreen. Prefers well drained soil.

Growth

Moderate growth rate to height of 5’ and width of 4’

Light

Prefers full sun to shade.

Uses

Hedge, specimen, foundation plant

American Golden Variegated

Buxus sempervirens ‘Aureo-Variegata’

Description

Slow growing shrub with a rounded habit. Small lustrous dark green leaves with golden variegation. Evergreen. Prefers well drained soil.

Growth

Slow growth rate to height and width of 5-8’

Light

Prefers full sun to partial shade.

Uses

Driveways; hedges; walkways; containers; foundation plantings

American Variegated

Buxus sempervirens ‘Variegata’

Description

Small dark green leaves are bordered by an irregular creamy white variegation adding interest and color. Easily pruned into topiary shapes or a formal hedge. Evergreen. Prefers well drained soil.

Growth

Slow growth rate to height and width of 5-8’

Light

Prefers full sun to partial shade.

Uses

Driveways, hedges, containers, foundation plantings

Dee Runk

Buxus sempervirens ‘Dee Runk’

Description

An excellent upright cultivar, grown both for its form and its ability to thrive in a variety of site conditions. Excellent choice for narrow hedges. Evergreen. Deer resistant! Any well-drained soil.

Growth

Fast growth rate to height of 8’ and width of 2’

Light

Full sun to shade.

Uses

Hedge, specimen, container

Elegantissima

Buxus sempervirens ‘Elegantissima’

Description

A striking boxwood commonly used as an accent plant. Rather small leaves are splashed with cream coloring. Has a slightly more upright, columnar type growth habit than many boxwoods if left untrimmed. Any well-drained soil. Evergreen.

Growth

Slow growth rate to height of 4-6’ with a 3-4’ spread

Light

Partial sun to shade

Uses

Corners, accent, containers, hedge

English

Buxus sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’

Description

The basic plant in many Colonial gardens. This cultivar is known for its soft, billowy outline and lush foliage. Foliage is great for holiday decorations. In ideal environment, plant will continue to grow for 75 to 150 years and develop into a very large shrub. Plant has distinct odor. Any well-drained soil.

Growth

Slow growth rate to height and width of 1-2’

Light

Partial sun to shade

Uses

Foundation, low hedge, container

Graham Blandy

Buxus sempervirens ‘Graham Blandy’

Description

Narrow upright evergreen forms neat column. Attractive glossy foliage. Requires very little maintenance. Deer resistant! Any well-drained soil.

Growth

Slow-growing to height of 8-10’ with a 2’ spread

Light

Full sun to shade.

Uses

Corners, accent

Green Beauty

Buxus microphylla var. japonica ‘Green Beauty’

Description

An excellent medium-sized cultivar. Use as a substitute for English boxwood in sunnier locations or where English has died due to disease problems. Responds well to pruning. Deep green glossy foliage with little winter bronzing. Evergreen. Moist, well-drained soil.

Growth

Fast growth rate to height and width of 3’

Light

Full sun to shade.

Uses

Accent, low hedge, mass planting, containers

Green Gem

Buxus ‘Green Gem’

Description

A small, lush mound of emerald green summer foliage with some bronzing in winter cold. Naturally oval form and dense foliage is perfect for low hedges. Evergreen. Moist, well-drained soil.

Growth

Slow growth rate to height and width of 2’

Light

Full sun to shade.

Uses

Accent, low hedge, foundation plant, specimen, containers

Green Mound

Buxus ‘Green Mound’

Description

A cold-hardy hybrid boxwood that was developed in Canada. Very spherical in habit and is a great substitute for English boxwood when ultimate size of 2 to 3 ft is desired. Shown to reach 15 year size at a moderate speed then slow to nearly stop growing. Moist, well-drained soil. Evergreen.

Growth

Moderate growth rate to height and width of 2-3’

Light

Full sun to shade.

Uses

Accent, low hedge, specimen, container, edging

Green Mountain

Buxus ‘Green Mountain’

Description

A cold-hardy hybrid boxwood known for its semi-upright, rounded conical shape. Responds well to pruning. Shown to reach 15 year size rather quickly then slow to nearly stop growing. Deer resistant. Evergreen. Moist, well-drained soil.

Growth

Fast growth rate to height of 4’ and width of 3’

Light

Full sun to shade.

Uses

Hedges, accent, specimen, containers

Green Velvet

Buxus sempervirens ‘Green Velvet’

Description

A full-bodied boxwood well suited for dense, low hedges. Foliage retains its rich green color throughout winter. Vigorous, rounded form if left unsheared. Evergreen. Deer resistant. Any well-drained soil

Growth

Moderate growth rate to height and width of 2-3’

Light

Full sun to part shade

Uses

Hedges, foundation, formal gardens, specimen, containers

Insularis

Buxus sinica insularis ‘Nana’

Description

A low spreading cultivar with lime green new growth in the spring. A relatively fast growing small cultivar. This cultivar is very popular in the Northeast. Evergreen. Deer resistant. Any well-drained soil.

Growth

Slow growth rate to height of 1’ and width of 3’

Light

Partial sun to shade

Uses

Small specimen, low hedge, foundation plant, edging, knot garden

Jim’s Tru Spreader

Buxus microphylla ‘Jim Stauffer’

Description

An excellent strong foundation plant which is slightly more vigorous than some cultivars, yet can be maintained in a formal state. Responds very well to pruning or shearing. A great substitute for English boxwood in colder climates or areas where English has died due to disease. Evergreen. Any well-drained soil.

Growth

Moderate growth rate to height of 3’ and width of 4’

Light

Full sun to shade.

Uses

Hedges, foundation, formal gardens, planters, specimen

Justin Brouwers

Buxus sinica insularis ‘Justin Brouwers’

Description

One of the best compact, mounding to rounded cultivars on the market. It is sun-tolerant. Use instead of English boxwood for low hedges, edges, parterres, or knot gardens. It responds very well to pruning. Small leaves with excellent deep-green winter color. Evergreen. Any well-drained soil.

Growth

Slow growth rate to height and width of 2-3’

Light

Full sun to shade.

Uses

Hedges, foundation, formal gardens, planters, specimen

Newport Blue

Buxus sempervirens ‘newport blue’

Description

An extremely handsome boxwood with blue-green foliage. Suitable for traditional hedging and specimen planting. Holds its form with light seasonal shearing. Prefers well drained soil.

Growth

Moderate growth rate to height of 4-5’ and width of 5-6’

Light

Prefers full sun to partial shade.

Uses

Driveways; hedges; walkways

Vardar Valley

Buxus sempervirens ‘vardar valley’

Description

Distinctive blue foliage in the spring combined with excellent winter hardiness make this broad, mounding cultivar very appealing. More resistant to leaf miner than most boxwood cultivars. Evergreen. Any well-drained soil.

Growth

Slow growth rate to height of 1’ with a 3’ spread

Light

Prefers full sun to shade.

Uses

Corners, accent, containers, specimen

Winter Gem

Buxus ‘microphylla japonica ‘Winter Gem’

Description

Excellent evergreen shrub for small hedges. Among the hardiest of Boxwoods, the rich green foliage acquires a golden bronze hue through winter, returning to green in spring. Evergreen. Moist, well-drained soil.

Growth

Moderate growth rate to height and width of 4-6’

Light

Full sun to partial shade.

Uses

Foundation, hedge

Wintergreen

Buxus microphylla var. japonica ‘Wintergreen’

Description

A vigorous, winter-hardy cultivar that is ideal when a large foundation plant is desired. Great for use in medium sized hedges. Very tolerant of pruning or shearing. Fills space quickly. Evergreen. Any well-drained soil.

Growth

Fast growth rate to height and width of 3-4’

Light

Prefers full sun to shade.

Uses

Small hedges, foundation plantings, specimen

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