Sarcococca confusa AGM provides gloriously scented flowers in winter, black berries into spring and glossy, dark green foliage all year.
Sarcococca confusa Common name: Sweet Box
Foliage: Evergreen. glossy, dark green foliage. The leaves grow up to 5cm long.
Flower: Small, creamy-white flowers from December through to March. Glossy black berries follow.
Scent: Sweetly fragrant.
Hardiness: Excellent with some shelter. It is truly forgiving of neglect, remarkably resilient to pollution and resilient to pests & diseases.
RHS: “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.”
Compactness: Sarcococca confusa is often planted as ground cover but this is to miss a trick. With a little patience in can easily be trained and trimmed to create the best-scented formal hedge.
Soil Type: Chalk, Clay, Sand or Loam
Soil pH: Acid, through neutral to alkaline.
Moisture: Prefers damp but well-draining humus-rich soil.
Light: Partial to full shade. If its roots are kept moist and well-drained in moderately fertile, humus-rich soil, it will happily cope with full sun.
Tolerates: Atmospheric pollution, dry shade and neglect
Ease of maintenance: Extremely easy.
Specialist care: Mulch after pruning.
Pruning: Trim annually.
Drought Resistance: Good
Rate of Growth: Slow to moderate.
Left to its own devices as informal ground cover (great on slopes) or trimmed for a more formal look, few plants are less fussy or more forgiving in terms of soil and situation. And how many other plants offer the scent of summer in the middle of winter? Plant a clump by the back door and you can stick your head out in February and be transported to June.