Buxus sempervirens is an evergreen shrub or small tree growing up to 1 to 9 m (3 to 30 ft) tall, with a trunk up to 20 centimetres (8 in) in diameter (exceptionally to 10 m tall and 45 cm diameter). Arranged in opposite pairs along the stems, the leaves are green to yellow-green, oval, 1.5–3 cm long, and 0.5–1.3 cm broad. The hermaphrodite flowers are inconspicuous but highly scented, greenish-yellow, with no petals, and are insect pollinated; the fruit is a three-lobed capsule containing 3-6 seeds.
Box remains a very popular ornamental plant in gardens, being particularly valued for topiary and hedges because of its small leaves, evergreen nature, tolerance of close shearing, and scented foliage.
The species typically grows on soils derived from chalk, limestone, usually as an understorey in forests of larger trees, most commonly associated with European beech (Fagus sylvatica) forests, but also sometimes in open dry montane scrub, particularly in the Mediterranean region.
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Range Map: Giovanni Caudullo, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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