This is otherwise, in Latin, known by the strange name of Sarcococca and will keep your chilled Rudolph endowed red nose happy with its naughty tickling sensuous scent.
Sarcococca from the Box family (Buxaceae) are commonly referred to as Christmas Boxes & contain 14 evergreen species native to East & SE Asia – From Afghanistan to China and to the Philippines. Two hardy, shrubby species are readily available in the UK in the form of Sarcococca hookeriana var. digyna and Sarcococca confusa. The former spreads by easily propagated suckers & grows to 5ft with a spread of at least 6ft, showing off slender, narrow leaves. The latter is smaller and denser in habit displaying dashingly glowingly glossy deep-green foliage. The leaves are so glossy in fact it’s like you’ve rubbed turtle wax on this “Sweet Box” instead of your car bonnet!
Both these plants are severely horticulturally endowed with enviable “flower arrangers’” foliage, spherical black berries and of course their most desirable asset; massively fragrant tiny white-pink flowers. Currently at Lullingstone blasting wafts of delicious scent are being deliciously flung throughout the garden, into the Polytunnels and occasionally into nearby St Botolph’s Church!!! At this time of year here at Lullingstone nothing bar the lonesome perfume laden solitary Daphne odora ‘Aureo-marginata’ can rival these nose blasting legends!!
But it’s even more of a mystery to me as to why these corkers are so underrated because these slow growing diamonds will happily grow on any fertile soil, even on solid chalk, whilst tolerating pretty dense shade or full sun provided there is some moisture backed up by good drainage - Heck try the challenging foot of a North-facing wall where they’ll romp away! Another bonus of these versatile scented stunners is there also fabulously easy in containers.
Furthermore, propagation is pretty straightforward: semi-ripe cuttings in summer or by seed in autumn & of course potted up Sarcococca ‘clump’ divisions or removed suckers are most desirable because they’ll establish the quickest!
Go on dear bloggers make your scent susceptible nasal hairs stand erect to attention – try a Spanking Sarcococca!