Sarcococca confusa Buxaceace
Fragrant Sarcococca, Sweet Box sar-ko-KOK-a con-FU-sa
- Broadleaf evergreen, 3-5 ft (1-1.5 m), densely branched, spreads by underground shoots. Leaves alternate, simple, narrow, lanceolate, 3-5 cm long, lustrous green above, light green below. White flowers not showy, apetalous, but very fragrant, open in winter, male flowers (towards shoot tips) with cream-colored anthers, female flowers have 2-3 styles. Fruit ripen a year later, at first red, then turning black, shiny, oval, 8 mm long.
- Shade. Fairly drought tolerant.
- Hardy to USDA Zone (6b) 7 Origin of the species is somewhat confused, thought to have been collected by Ernest H. Wilson from the wild in China about 1908, but it has not been discovered in the wild. Possibly a
natural hybrid, but it comes true from seed. It is unusual that female flowers on the same branch may have either 2 or 3 stigmas.
- According to Sunset Western Garden Book, S. confusa is often sold as S. ruscifolia, although they are similar in appearance, S. ruscifolia has red fruit.
- sarcococca: from sarco, flesh, and kokkos: a berry (i.e., fleshy fruit). confusa: confused, with other species.
- Oregon State Univ. campus: northwest corner of Cordley Hall.