© RHS / Sara Draycott

Introducing...

Sarcococca

Common name: Sweet box

Known for their sweetly scented winter flowers and glossy evergreen foliage, sarcococcas may not steal the show, but they lift the spirits during the short days of winter.

Plant them by a path or doorway so you catch the fragrance, and mix them with companionable winter flowers like hellebores and snowdrops. They're also useful in dry shade under trees.

Looks

Sarcococca are bushy evergreen shrubs with glossy, dark green leaves. In winter, they produce small but highly fragrant, creamy-white flowers (some flushed pink), followed by black, purple or red berries.

Likes

A good choice for shady spots and happy in dry conditions once established.

Dislikes

The leaves can become yellow or pale and peaky in very dry situations or in full sun.

Did you know?

Sarcococca is in the box family (Buxaceae), so plants can be used as a lightly clipped, informal hedge in a shady spot.

Growing guide

Sarcococca we recommend

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Useful advice

Birch for winter interest

Birch for winter interest

Fragrant plants

Fragrant plants

Plants for under trees

Plants for under trees

Plants for winter interest

Plants for winter interest

Shade planting: annuals, bulbs and perennials

Shade planting: annuals, bulbs and perennials

Shade planting: shrubs

Shade planting: shrubs

Shrubs: evergreen by size

Shrubs: evergreen by size

Shrubs: evergreen for specific situations

Shrubs: evergreen for specific situations

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