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Buxus sempervirens

Object Details

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Smithsonian Gardens Display Collection
On Display
National Museum of African American History and Culture
Accession Number
2021-0658A
Description
In the wild, boxwoods grow in open, rocky areas, can grow as large as small trees, and are characteristic shrubs of sub-Mediterranean Europe. In cultivation, boxwoods are most often found planted as hedges, or painstakingly trimmed into topiary shapes. In ideal conditions, they can live anywhere from 70-150 years.
Hardiness
-20 - 20 F
Bloom Time
April-May
Ethnobotanical Uses
Historically, the wood was popular for carving, and making into boxes and musical instruments.
Medicinal / Pharmaceutical
Historically, boxwood has been used as a sedative and as treatments for syphilis, rheumatism, epilepsy and malaria. Currently, it is being studied as a treatment for Alzheimer's.
Provenance
From a cultivated plant not of known wild origin
Topic
Display Gardens
Living Collections
Range
Europe to N Iran, N Africa
Habitat
Forest, shrubland, rocky areas; 65-6560ft (20-2000m)
Life Form
Evergreen shrub/sub-shrub
Bark Characteristics
Brown with wings on young stems
Bloom Characteristics
Inconspicuous flowers do not have petals and are pale green to yellow.
Foliage Characteristics
Elliptic to oval leaves, are simple, opposite, smooth margined, and glossy green. .5-1.5" (1.27-3.8 cm) long.
Fruit Characteristics
Brown capsule which dehisces when ripe. .33" (.83 cm) across.
Plant Size
5-15' tall by 5-15' wide (1.5-4.5 x 1.5-4.5 meters)
Structure
Round
Data Source
Smithsonian Gardens
Common Name
Common boxwood
European boxwood
Group
[vascular plants]
Class
Equisetopsida
Subclass
Magnoliidae
Superorder
Buxanae
Order
Buxales
Family
Buxaceae
Genus
Buxus
Species
sempervirens
Restrictions & Rights
CC0
GUID
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ax70e96be1f-26ae-40be-a2ee-1612d67d4789
Record ID
ofeo-sg_2021-0658A
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