Day 20 – Christmas Box – No, not getting ahead of ourselves here with Christmas boxes of the cash kind, traditionally given to tradesmen on Boxing Day (as a thank you for their year’s service) nor even presents in gift-wrapped boxes traditionally exchanged on Christmas Day.
What we do have in mind is the evergreen shrub commonly known as the Christmas Box or Sweet Box, Sarcococca confusa. This small shrub flowers over the mid-winter months with a delightful fragrance. It is in the family Buxaceae (Box family) and related to the better known Common Box (Buxus sempervirens) used in box hedging in formal gardens. It is monoecious, with both male and female flowers found on the same plant and apparently named confusa because the female flowers may have two or three stigmas, and the male flowers any number of stamens between one and four. Confused or not, it makes a wonderful hardy evergreen shrub for the garden.
Thanks to digital botanical illustrator Niki Simpson for this post, check out her botanical selfie at Dr M here.