Buxus microphylla 'Apple Green'
Common Name: boxwood 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Buxaceae
Zone: 6 to 9
Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: Greenish-cream
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer

Noteworthy Characteristics

Buxus microphylla, commonly called littleleaf boxwood, is a slow-growing, densely-branched, broadleaf evergreen shrub. Most cultivars sold in commerce today mature over time to 3-4' tall. Tiny, rounded, leathery, elliptic to obovate, medium green leaves (1/3" to 1" long) with blunt tips are evergreen. Leaves may bronze in winter, but good green color usually returns by mid-spring. Axillary petalless fragrant spring flowers are inconspicuous.

Genus name comes from the Latin name for plants in this genus.

Specific epithet means small-leaved.

Common name of boxwood is in reference to the prior use of the wood to make boxes. Another theory on common name is that boxwood describes the quadrangular (square box cross section) stems of young plants.

'Apple Green' is a dwarf cultivar that typically grows in an open mound to only 8" tall over the first 10 years. Broad-elliptic, dark green leaves grow to 3/8" long. 'Apple Green' was introduced into commerce in the early 1990s.


Boxwoods can be somewhat temperamental plants to grow in the St. Louis area where the evergreen foliage tends to bronze (turn unattractive brownish-yellow) in harsh winters, particularly if plants are located in open areas where exposed to full sun and winter winds. No serious insect or disease problems. Some susceptibility to blights and leaf spot. Root rot can also be a problem in poorly-drained soils. Plants are susceptible to boxwood leafminer and boxwood mites, but are usually not affected by boxwood psyllid.


Slow-growing boxwood. Specimen, mass or edging. Hedge. Foundations. Topiary.

A dwarf boxwood for small places in the landscape.