|Species:||Buxus sempervirens L.|
|Italian common noun:||European Box|
Origin: Europe, North Africa, Turkey.
Botanical characteristics: It is a large erect compact evergreen shrub. It can reach 8 m. in height. The young branches are quadrangular. Its leaves are small, opposite, ovoid, rarely lanceolate up to 2-3 cm long. They are dark green and shiny on the upper side, whereas they are light green below. The leaves give off an unpleasant smell. It is a monoecious plant and bloom in March- April. Its inflorescences are composed of yellow flowers which attract bees. The fruit is an ovoid green capsule.
Agronomic and environmental characteristics: It is natural only in Italian Western Alps and northern and central Apennines, among hardwoods, on arid and stony soils. When cultivated, it grows well in any well-drained calcareous soil, both in full sun and in shade.
Use: It is a plant which withstands any pruning, it is the most widely used shrub for hedges, forms, topiary sculptures, the essential component in the formation of the Italian garden (hedges, borders, parterres, mazes, topiary) .
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