Boxwoods are thought to be among the first shrubs domesticated by man for ornamental use. The Romans first appreciated their qualities, and today they are still one of the most versatile evergreen shrubs, particularly useful for hedges and topiary, or plant sculpture. Littleleaf Boxwood (Buxus microphylla), also called Japanese boxwood, is a low, compact species from Asia.
Size: Most littleleaf boxwoods grow to 3 feet high and spread to 2 feet wide. Some varieties grow somewhat larger than this.
Foliage: Littleleaf boxwood leaves are oval, smooth-edged, 1/2 to 1 inch long. They are shiny dark green above, lighter green beneath, and have a tiny indentation at the tips. They are attached directly opposite each other on the stem. Some littleleaf boxwood varieties have variegated foliage of green and white. Also, their leaves may turn slightly brown in full winter sun. Massed boxwood foliage has a distinctive pungent scent. Its branches and foliage are poisonous to animals that may chew on them.
Flowers: Littleleaf boxwood blooms in the spring. Its flowers are yellowish, small and inconspicuous, lacking petals. Male and female flowers appear separately on the same plant, clustered along branchlets.
Basic Requirements - Zones 4 – 9, likes part shade will tolerate full sun, wants good, well-drained soil, but will tolerate alkaline soils.