Boxwood Trees and Shrubs (with Pictures) – Identification Guide

Hedges, foundation plantings, topiary, accents, and containers are all common uses for boxwood (Buxus), a group of evergreen landscape shrubs. In most regions, boxwood trees and shrubs thrive in full sun or shade and are relatively easy to grow.

The foliage of most boxwood bushes is thick and evergreen, with little green oval leaves and compact development. Rounded, columnar, and dwarf shrubs are among the different forms of boxwood plants.

Choosing the finest boxwood trees and shrubs for your garden setting is discussed in this article. You’ll also learn about different varieties of hardy evergreen shrubs that may be cultivated in most regions, as well as others.

Table of Contents

About Boxwood Trees and Shrubs

Boxwoods, which are tiny evergreen trees and shrubs, make excellent potted plants. Boxwood trees that are over 40 feet (12 meters) tall are common. Nevertheless, garden boxwood cultivars that reach between 1 and 5 feet (0.3 and 1.5 meters) tall, depending on the cultivar, are usually grown as shrubs.

The versatility of boxwood shrubs and trees is well-liked. Full sun, partial shade, and full shade are ideal for evergreen boxwood bushes. The landscaping shrubs thrive on a range of wet, well-drained soils and are unusually drought-tolerant. Boxwoods are evergreen, which allows them to offer beauty and privacy to a garden throughout the year.

In USDA zones 5 through 9, boxwood shrubs are also cold-hardy and perform well. Nonetheless, since there are certain cold-hardiness distinctions, it’s always a good idea to check the cultivar.

Boxwood For a Privacy Hedge

Depending on the cultivar, boxwoods may make formal hedges that are low or tall. Tall, columnar boxwood plants produce excellent security and privacy barriers by having delicate, thick leaves. To create formal hedges, low-growing hedges, or privacy hedges, boxwood hedge plants are also simple to trim and form.

Boxwood Leaves

The leathery green leaves of boxwood leaves create a thick canopy. Some boxwood cultivars may be distinguished by their leaf shape and color. Japanese boxwoods, for example, have tiny oval leaves that are 1.5 inch (4 cm) long, whereas American boxwood has leathery lanceolate leaves.

Types of Dwarf Boxwoods

Low-growing hedges, container plants, borders, and foundation plantings all benefit from dwarf boxwood shrubs.

Morris Dwarf Boxwood (Buxus microphylla var. japonica ‘Morris Dwarf’)

A small rounded shrub with bright green to dark green leaves, boxwood called “Morris Dwarf” is a popular choice. Oval, leathery leaves on woody stems grow oppositely on this low-maintenance cultivar. Just 1 foot (0.3 meter) tall and broad, the slow-growing boxwood shrub is little. Boxwood, also known as the Morris Dwarf, is deer resistant.

In full sun to full shade, the Morris Dwarf boxwood thrives. Bronzing of the leaves may occur in the winter sun. In the spring, however, fresh new green leaves replace older ones. For formal beds or driveway edging, plant this dwarf boxwood along the edges.

Littleleaf Boxwood (Buxus microphylla ‘Compacta’)

Littleleaf boxwood is a tiny evergreen shrub with densely growing branches and a profusion of little oval, leathery leaves. The name of this littleleaf boxwood cultivar comes from the fact that its rounded obovate leaves grow 0.25″ (0.6 cm) long. A rounded form, tiny glossy leaves, and compact development are some identifying features of the littleleaf boxwood.

Border edging, container planting, and growing short, formal hedges are all good applications for the low-maintenance shrub. The small shrub thrives in full sun to partial shade, as do other boxwoods.

Dwarf English Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’)

A kind of dwarf European boxwood landscaping shrub is the cultivar ‘Suffriticosa,’ which grows to be about 2 feet tall. The glossy green, ovate leaves on this low-growing evergreen shrub grow up to 1″ (2.5 cm) long. Soft, lush foliage, compact development, and minimal upkeep are all characteristics of the English boxwood shrub.

In moist, well-drained soil in full sun or shade, grow small English boxwood shrubs. Foundation plantings, topiary, evergreen ground cover, and a low-formal hedge are all possible uses for this versatile shrub. Between 2 and 3 feet (0.6 and 1 m) tall and 4 feet (1.2 m) broad, this English boxwood shrub develops.

Dwarf Boxwood ‘Kingsville’ (Buxus microphylla ‘Kingsville’)

A low-growing landscaping shrub with bright green, oval leaves, the Japanese boxwood cultivar ‘Kingsville’ is a dwarf Boxwood. This plant has little, rounded leaves that grow thickly on woody branches, as do many Buxus microphylla cultivars. The dwarf boxwood ‘Kingsville’ grows to 2 feet (0.6 meters) tall and 2.5 feet (0.8 meters) broad.

One of the tiniest Buxus cultivars is the ‘Kingsville’ boxwood. It grows at a glacial pace and only achieves 1 foot (0.3 meters) in the first ten years. Containers, low-growing formal hedges, ground cover if left to spread, and border edging are all possible uses for the dwarf shrub.

‘Jims True Spreader’ Boxwood (Buxus microphylla ‘Jims True Spreader’)

The littleleaf boxwood ‘Jims True Spreader’ is a compact growth dwarf landscaping shrub that features the look of boxwood. Dark green leaves, tiny glossy green leaves, and spreading growth are all identifying characteristics of this dwarf boxwood. The dwarf boxwood can reach a height of 4 feet (1.2 meters) and a width of 5 feet (1.5 meters).

‘Jims True Spreader’ has an casual appearance with a thin texture when compared to other boxwood cultivars. Dwarf shrubs are ideal for hedges, privacy screens, and container planting when pruned. Alternatively, in full sun, you can let the shrub grow for ground cover.

Korean Boxwood ‘Nana’ (Buxus sinica var. insularis ‘Nana’)

Korean Boxwood ‘Nana’

The dwarf Korean boxwood ‘Nana’ is a compact, evergreen shrub with dense green foliage that keeps good color throughout the year. The ‘Nana’ boxwood cultivar has tiny spoon-shaped green leaves creating a lush, rounded shape. As a dwarf boxwood shrub, Buxus sinica var. insularis ‘Nana’ is a slow grower, maturing at 2 ft. (0.6 m) tall.

Although the ‘Nana’ Korean boxwood grows in full sun to full shade, too much direct sunlight can scorch its foliage. For best results, plant in partial shade and moist, well-drained soils. Compared to other dwarf boxwoods, this cultivar is highly resistant to common pests and diseases that blight some evergreen shrubs.

Boxwood ‘Silver Beauty’ (Buxus sempervirens ‘Silver Beauty’)

The boxwood ‘Silver Beauty’ has pale green and cream-white leaves that are stunning as a hedge plant. The yellow border and green center of the little, oblong, pointed leaves. The pyramidal-rounded form of this variegated boxwood The cultivar ‘Silver Beauty’ may reach a height of 3 feet (1 meter) and a width of 4 feet (1.2 meters).

The little boxwood brightens up gardens throughout the year with its dark-green leaves and creamy-white borders. As an accent, foundation planting, border, or gigantic container plant, you can grow the beautiful shrub.

Types of Rounded Boxwood Hedge Plants

Several boxwood types have a natural spherical form and minimal shaping is required. Hedge plants, container plants, and even imaginative landscape designs may be created with rounded boxwood shrubs.

‘Green Velvet’ Boxwood (Buxus x ‘Green Velvet’)

The evergreen shrub with a rounded form and fast growth is known as the ‘Green Velvet.’ The dense foliage features dark green glossy leaves that preserve their luster throughout the winter. Most soils and light conditions are ideal for hardy landscaping shrubs. It grows to be 3–4 feet (1.2 meters) tall and broad.

Planting a boxwood plant called “Green Velvet” has several benefits, one of which is that it maintains its form. The shrub has a rounded growth habit and modest development with little or no trimming. For formal borders, hedges, privacy screens, or mass planting, use the landscaping plant.

‘Winter Gem’ Boxwood (Buxus microphylla var. japonica ‘Winter Gem’)

An excellent evergreen shrub for growing as a formal hedge is the boxwood variety known as the ‘Winter Gem. The elongated oval leaves with a round apex create thick, dense greenery on the rounded boxwood plant. Each leaf has a smooth surface and measures approximately 1″ (2.5 cm) in size. Boxwood grows 4 to 6 feet (1.2 to 1.8 meters) tall and broad in the winter gem boxwood variety.

Full sun to partial shade is best for the Japanese boxwood known as the ‘Winter Gem.’ Throughout the year, the bushy landscaping shrub maintains its color. Create a lush formal hedge, driveway border, privacy screen, or a neat and tidy foundation planting by combining the rounded boxwood.

‘Wintergreen’ Boxwood (Buxus sinica var. Insularis ‘Wintergreen’)

An evergreen, rounded shrub with neat, globular growth that stands up well to pruning, the ‘Wintergreen’ boxwood is an excellent plant. Glossy, bright green leaves with rounded tips create a mound of lush foliage, and the characteristics of Korean boxwood are similar to those of wintergreen. This 3 to 4 foot (1 to 1.2 m) tall and broad boxwood with circular growth develops branches 3 to 5 feet (1.5 to 1.5 m) long and broad.

Boxwood, a tough landscaping and border shrub, is known as the hardy wintergreen. In pots at the entrance, on a patio, or on a deck, the easy-to-shape plant stands out. If you want to build an evergreen hedge or screen, the densely growing woody branches also offer year-round privacy.

American Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens)

The American boxwood is a dark, glossy green landscaping shrub with dark green leaves. It’s also known as common boxwood. The multi-stemmed boxwood shrub grows 15 to 20 feet (4.5 to 6 meters) tall and has round growth. The plant’s oblong to ovate leaves, which are 1″ (2.5 cm) long and glossy, have rounded ends. American boxwood plants are one of the most popular evergreen hedge plants due to their dense, lush leafy growth.

To create formal privacy screens to keep noise and prying eyes away, simply prune the tall boxwoods. Furthermore, for foundation planting, borders, and landscape accents, the perennial landscape shrub is ideal.

‘Elegantissima’ Variegated Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens ‘Elegantissima’)

A variegated cultivar with a rounded growth habit and tiny, lance-shaped creamy-white and green leaves, the boxwood ‘Elegantissima’ is an exquisite cultivar. From a distance, the boxwood shrub appears pale green because of its vivid leaves. The variegated boxwood grows to be 3 to 5 feet (1.5 meters) tall and broad.

Its distinguishing feature is the boxwood leaves. The leaves are glossy green with uneven creamy-white borders and range in size from 1″ to 3″ (2.5 to 7.5 cm). For foundation plantings, accents, borders, or a privacy hedge, use the Elegantissima cultivar, which is similar to many rounded boxwood plants.

Boxwood ‘Green Gem’ (Buxus microphylla var. koreana x Buxus sempervirens ‘Green Gem’)

One of the cold-hardiest evergreen shrubs for your garden landscape is boxwood, sometimes known as the ‘Green Gem. The leaves are a stunning globular shape and are lush and glossy dark green. Throughout the winter, the boxwood hybrid retains its dark colors. Between 3 and 4 feet (1 and 1.2 meters) tall and broad, the green gem boxwood thrives. In USDA zones 4 to 9, this cold-hardy boxwood thrives. Full sun to partial shade is ideal for the evergreen perennial. It makes a superb low-growing hedge or foundation plant.

Types of Upright Boxwoods

Upright boxwoods, which are usually tall bushes in the Buxus genus and prefer columnar growth for creating high privacy screens, are often tall bushes.

Boxwood ‘Fastigiata’ (Buxus sempervirens ‘Fastigiata’)

Boxwood cultivar ‘Fastigiata’ is an upright tall shrub-like tree with a conical shape that blooms throughout the year. Oval or elliptic dark blue-green leaves cover thick woody stems and make up the rich, lush foliage. The upright boxwood, known as the ‘Fastigiata,’ grows to be 6 feet (1.8 meters) tall and has a 2 foot (0.6 meter) spreading habit.

For creating formal landscapes with evergreen height, the boxwood ‘Fastigiata’ is an excellent choice. A natural columnar structure exists in boxwood. Nevertheless, for emphasizing an entry or corner of the home, it is simple to prune it as a narrow columnar tree.

Variegated English Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens ‘Variegata’)

Variegated boxwood bushes are fantastic for introducing variety and color to a garden landscape. Dark green ovate leaves with irregular creamy-white borders are found on the boxwood variety Variegata. The bushy plant grows to be between 5 and 8 feet (1.5 and 1.8 meters) tall and broad.

A slow-growing shrub, boxwood is a wonderful addition to any garden. The variegated boxwood makes an excellent shrub for screening or as a privacy hedge because of its upright growth. You can also grow the plant as a patio or deck accessory or containerplant, with some basic trimming, of course.

Types of Pyramidal Boxwood Hedge Plants

Specimens, privacy screens, and accents in containers all benefit from boxwood hedge plants with pyramidal forms.

American Pyramidal Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens ‘Pyramidalis’)

The American pyramidal boxwood tree has a conical shape and thick, dense leaves. The small round dark green leaves, as well as the natural pyramidal shape, are characteristics of this boxwood tree. The base of Boxwood ‘Pyramidalis’ is larger, with the exception of a point.

This 12-foot-tall (3.6-meter) pyramidal boxwood has a 8-foot-(2.4-meter) width. The pyramidal boxwood, also known as American pyramid boxwood, thrives best as a towering hedge or screen. Boxwood, on the other hand, may be grown in a huge container as a decorative plant.

Common Boxwood ‘Dee Runk’ (Buxus sempervirens ‘Dee Runk’)

Boxwood ‘Dee Runk’ has columnar growth, lush foliage, and a medium to fast growth rate. It’s an attractive landscaping shrub. This pyramidal boxwood’s relatively compact growth makes it ideal for small gardens. Shiny, green ovate-shaped leaves make up the thick foliage. Boxwood grows to be 8 feet (2.4 meters) tall and 3 feet (1 meters) broad.

Boxwood is an excellent shrub for creating narrow hedgerows or privacy screens because of its limited growth. To highlight a corner or entranceway where its conical form catches the eye, you might also plant the upright, pyramidal boxwood.

Types of Tall Boxwoods

Tall hardy types of boxwood plants may be used to provide you with a high privacy screen to safeguard your property.

Truetree Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens ‘Arborescens’)

Truetree boxwood, sometimes known as broadleaf evergreen tree, is a largeleaf evergreen tree. The oval leaves of the boxwood ‘Arborescens’ grow on woody stems in the opposite direction. The boxwood tree has an open spread and grows between 15 and 20 feet (4.5 and 6 meters) tall. Cutting the tall tree into a dense privacy barrier is simple.

‘Graham Blandy’ Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens ‘Graham Blandy’)

Boxwood is a tiny, narrow, columnar plant that is ideal for tiny gardens. It’s called the “Graham Blandy” boxwood. This boxwood can reach a height of 15 feet (4.5 meters) and a width of just 1 to 2 feet (0.3 to 0.6 meters). In gardens, the pencil-like boxwood tree stands out. It’s a good choice for growing as a specimen plant or accenting corners.

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