• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Sarcococca hookeriana var. hookeriana

sweet box

sweet box

© RHS 1999

  • Other common names sweet box

  • Family Buxaceae

  • Genus Sarcococca are compact, sometimes suckering evergreen shrubs with simple, leathery leaves and tiny, fragrant creamy-white flowers in winter or spring, followed by red, purple or black berries which may persist into the following winter

  • Details S. hookeriana var. hookeriana is a suckering evergreen shrub forming a compact thicket of upright stems bearing leathery, lance-shaped or elliptic leaves and tiny, but very fragrant white flowers in late winter, followed by black berries

  • Plant range Himalaya

Characteristics

  • Foliage Evergreen

  • Habit Suckering

  • Fragrance Flower

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)

    H5

Colour

Sunlight

  • Full Shade

  • Partial Shade

  • Aspect South-facing or North-facing or West-facing or East-facing

  • Exposure Sheltered

Soil

  • Sand

    Sand

  • Clay

    Clay

  • Chalk

    Chalk

  • Loam

    Loam

  • MoistureMoist but well-drained

  • SoilSand, Clay, Chalk, Loam

  • pHAcid, Alkaline, Neutral

Size

  • Ultimate height 1-1.5 metres

  • Ultimate spread 1.5-2.5 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 10-20 years

How to grow

Cultivation Grow in moderately fertile, moist but well-drained humus-rich soil in shade. Full sun may be tolerated when planted in damp soil. Also tolerant of atmospheric pollution, dry shade and neglect

Propagation Propagate by semi-hardwood cuttings in late summer or propagate by seed sown in containers outdoors in autumn or spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types Flower borders and beds City & Courtyard Gardens Coastal Cottage & Informal Garden

How to care

Pruning Pruning group 8

Pests Generally pest free

Diseases Generally disease free

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