Dwarf Sweetbox

Dwarf Sweetbox SarcococcaVirtues: We love dwarf sweetbox (Sarcococca hookeriana var. humilis) for its very fragrant late winter flowers and its evergreen foliage. It is a good evergreen groundcover for full or part shade. Deer resistant.

Common name: Dwarf sweetbox

Botanical name: Sarcococca hookeriana var. humilis

Flowers: Small white flowers line the branches from late winter to early spring. Highly fragrant, with a sweet aroma. Small black fruits follow the flowers.

Foliage: Shiny, dark green, pointed oval evergreen leaves with soft texture.

Habit: Woody broadleaf evergreen shrub, 12 to 24 inches tall. Spreads by underground stems to make a mat 4 to 8 feet wide.

Season: Year-round.

Origin: The Himalayas.

Cultivation: Grow in part to full shade, in well-drained, rich soil. Prefers acid soil. Deer resistant. Can be sheared annually to keep it in shape. Also works well as a low hedge. USDA Zones 6–10.

Image attribution: Sten. Image rights.


Design a fragrant garden with Fragrant Designs.

Brighten the shade all year with The Shade Garden: Shade-Loving Plants for Year-Round Interest by Beth Chatto.

Make the most of shade with C. Colston Burrell’s The Shady Border: Shade-Loving Perennials for Season-Long Color.

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2 thoughts on “Dwarf Sweetbox

    • Hi Nancy — it’s at the very end. You’re not the first to miss it, but we always run it at the very end under “Cultivation.” It is USDA Zones 6–10 in this case. Thanks for coming by.

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