Dwarf Sweet Box

Dwarf Sweet Box

Got shade? Have we got a plant for you! Dwarf sweet box (Sarcococca hookeriana var. humilis) grows to about 18″ high, is dark green and is as handsome as its botanical name is long.

How many plants do you know of that look as good during and after a cold winter as they did in August? How many ground covers do you know that out compete the weeds and spread steadily but don’t become invasive problems? Well here’s a plant that meets both those criteria. It’s low growing, dark green, weed-smothering, and handsome. It’s also fragrant when it blooms in the early spring.

Plant sweet box (which is not the same as boxwood) as a low-maintenance shrub around taller shrubs. Use it in shady foundation plantings or around patios. Once you get acquainted with this plant you’ll wonder why it hasn’t crossed your path until now.

Sarcococca hookeriana var. humilis is a mouthful, so just remember "dwarf sweet box."


  1. Dirty Gertie's Gardening on May 9, 2013 at 8:03 am

    I’ve seen Sweet Box as a more low growing mat and then in a more upright form. Are these different varieties of Sweet Box or are they just pruned to be mat like?

    • CLFornari on May 9, 2013 at 8:32 am

      The low, mat-like form is Dwarf Sweet Box – a great low shrub or ground cover for shade!

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