Plant Description

Sarcococca ruscifolia

Sarcococca ruscifolia

Sarcococca ruscifolia is an evergreen, frost-hardy shrub that hails from China. It grows only to about 1 m in height and width, spreading slowly by suckers but never to the point of being invasive. It has tiny, white flowers in winter, which are sweetly scented; these are followed by bright red berries. I value it because it will grow in shade, even nasty dry shade. Its shiny, pointed leaves are very reminiscent of the tough, shade-tolerant foliage plant Ruscus hypoglossum, (sometimes known as the insect plant, because of its strange flowers on its 'leaves' (actually stems), which do look just like little bugs!) and indeed the species name of this Sarcococca references this connection. I like growing the two plants side by side in a difficult shaded position as they just seem to look so right together. Neither plant needs any attention at all, but I do try to keep them well mulched and provide some water in hard times. Sarcoccoca rarely needs pruning. It is useful for a low, informal hedge,

 

Sarcococca ruscifolia
Foliage and berries useful in floral arrangements.
Flowers from July to August.
Plant Family: Buxaceae

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