Sarcococca hookeriana var. humilis 'Sarsid2' FRAGRANT MOUNTAIN
Common Name: sweet box
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Buxaceae
Zone: 6 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 4.00 feet
Bloom Time: March to April
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Hedge, Naturalize
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Leaf: Evergreen
Fruit: Showy
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Deer, Heavy Shade

Culture

Best grown in organically rich, acidic, moist, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Leaves lose luster in full sun. Best with consistent moisture. Established plants have some drought tolerance. Cold hardiness for var. humilis is good (-10 F). Prune in spring after flowering to maintain attractive shape.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Sarcococca hookeriana commonly called sweetbox is a low-growing, broadleaf evergreen shrub to 5' tall that spreads, albeit slowly, by stolons to 6' wide or more over time in shady areas of the landscape. Lustrous, lanceolate, leathery, dark green leaves (to 3 1/2" long and to 3/4" wide) are evergreen. Tiny, apetulous, unisexual, tubular, fragrant, white flowers (1/2" long) bloom in the leaf axils in March-April. Female flowers give way to globose, shiny, black fruits (drupes to 1/3" wide). Native to western Himalayas and China.

Var. humilis is low growing to only 1-2 feet tall. Humilis means low growing in Latin.

Synonymous with and formerly known as Sarcococca humilis.

Genus name comes from the Greek words sarkos meaning flesh and kokkos meaning a berry in reference to the fleshy fruits.

Specific epithet honors Sir Joseph Hooker (1817-1911).

'Sarsid2' was discovered in 2002 as a naturally occurring whole plant mutation of unnamed seedlings of Sarcococca hookeriana var. humilis by Gurjit Sidhu of Sidhu & Sons Nursery in Mission, British Columbia. It is sold as FRAGRANT MOUNTAIN™ and with 'Sarsid1' FRAGRANT VALLEY™, it is part of the Himalayan Wonder series. 'Sarsid2' is a compact evergreen shrub that spreads slowly by suckering. It has shiny, leathery, oblanceolate leaves that are wider, more glossy and darker green than the species. Its white, tubular flowers have a hyacinth-like fragrance and bloom in late winter to early spring. It grows 2 to 3 ft. tall and 3 to 4 ft. wide. United States Plant Patent PP#19,951 awarded April 21, 2009.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Evergreen ground cover for woodland gardens with fragrant flowers and quality foliage. Shrub borders. Low hedge. Shady parts of cottage gardens. Shady slopes.