What Are Some Varieties of Boxwoods?


Quick Answer

Boxwood shrubs are classified as American, English, Korean and Japanese. The dwarf English boxwood variety Suffruticosa, first introduced in the United States in the early 1700s, remains popular today. Reaching a mature height of 3 feet, it retains its rounded shape and is evergreen. Newport Blue boxwood only reaches 18 inches in height, attains a width of 3 feet and tolerates pruning. Often used as a specimen plant, it also works well as a short hedge in formal gardens.

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Full Answer

English boxwood shrubs, native to southern Europe and northern Africa, grow larger than the Japanese boxwood and hold their bright-green leaf color in both sun and shade. Leaves are wider at the base and slightly tapered or pointed. Northern Beauty boxwood grows to a height of 5 feet with an equal width, and is one of the hardiest of English boxwoods. Argenteo Variegata, useful both as a specimen plant and hedge, is an ideal boxwood to brighten a shaded area and features variegated yellow and green leaves. The drought-tolerant upright boxwood variety Pyramidalis has dense, green foliage and is often used as a specimen because of its conical growth habit that reaches a height of 12 feet.

The Japanese boxwood, often called the little-leaf boxwood, is a densely compact shrub that grows in sun or shade. Leaves are smaller and more rounded than those of the English boxwood and have a tendency to brown slightly in full winter sun. Green Beauty is Japanese boxwood variety that attains a height of 3 feet with equal width. Morris Dwarf and Morris Midget are both slow-growing Japanese boxwood shrubs that make ideal hedges because of their small size. Wintergreen is a small variety ideal for planters, growing only 2 feet tall and wide, with dark-green leaves that resist winter burn.

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