Virtues: 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.
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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