The Q&A Archives: How to identify boxwood variety

Question: I need a little help. The home I purchased in July 2005 has 11 boxwood plants. They are about knee high, darker green than the traditional green beauty japanese boxwood, and seem more prone to grow upwards rather than out on the sides. To be honest, they have not grown much since last summer.

So far, I have been to every nursery/garden center that I can think of, but with no luck. Do you have suggestions on how to clearly identify one type of boxwood from another. The only thing I can tell you is the previous owner purhcased and planted these immediately before selling the home. Based on the root ball of the 3 they forgot to water which have sense died, they were in a 1-gallon pot.

Answer: It's really difficult to describe a boxwood! It might be easier to take a cutting to a few garden centers and try to match the leaf shape, size and color. Here's the best way I can describe them:

Green gem boxwood (Buxus x 'Green Gem') is a slow-growing dwarf plant that forms a tight ball measuring about 2' x 2'. It has very dark green foliage throughout the year. This small cultivar makes an excellent short, formal hedge when planted closely and requires very little shearing to maintain its shape.

Green mound boxwood (Buxus x ?Green Mound?) is very similar to ?Green Gem?, but has a bit finer-textured leaf and is slightly bigger in stature reaching an ultimate height and width of 3 to 3 1/2 feet.

Green velvet boxwood (Buxus x 'Green Velvet') is also similar to ?Green Gem?, but grows up to 3 to 3 1/2 feet tall and wide.

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