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Boxwood hybrids

Boxwood shrub.

Boxwoods are excellent, low-growing, evergreen shrubs with dark green, finely textured leaves. Boxwoods can be used as hedges, rounded specimens and neatly compact background plants in any landscape.  Many of the boxwoods sold today are hybrids with complex parentage.

This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.


Botanical name:

Buxus hybrids

All common names:

Boxwood, hybrid boxwood, common box, boxwood cultivars

Family (English):


Family (Botanic):


Tree or Plant Type:

  • Shrub


  • Evergreen (foliage year-round)

Native Locale:

  • Non-native

Landscape Uses:

  • Container,
  • Foundation,
  • Hedge,
  • Massing,
  • Mixed border,
  • Specimen

Size Range:

  • Small shrub (3-5 feet),
  • Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet)

Light Exposure:

  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

Hardiness Zones:

  • Zone 5 (Chicago),
  • Zone 6,
  • Zone 7,
  • Zone 8

Soil Preference:

  • Alkaline soil,
  • Moist, well-drained soil


  • Dry sites,
  • Alkaline soil

Seasons of Interest:

  • early winter,
  • midwinter,
  • late winter

Flower Color & Fragrance:

  • Inconspicuous,
  • Fragrant

Shape or Form:

  • Mounded,
  • Round

Growth Rate:

  • Slow

More Information:

Size and Form

Size varies by cultivar (see below)

Tree & Plant Care

Boxwoods grow best in loose, well-drained soil. Protect from windy sites.
Keep well-watered, especially in late fall before the ground freezes.
Plants benefit with 2 to 3 inches of mulch to moderate soil moisture.
Prune in early spring. Plants can be sheared or pruned to make a hedge.

Disease, pests, and problems

Boxwood psyllids and leaf miners are possible insect problems.
Sensitive to road salts and winter burn

Native geographic location and habitat

Most boxwood culitvars are hybrids with complex parentage.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Simple, opposite, finely-textured,  1/2-inch dark green to medium green leaves are elliptical to oblong.
Some cultivars can turn yellow-green during winter months.
Some plants malodorus.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Tiny, creamy-yellow clusters in leaf axils; fragrant.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Small capsule; not ornamentally important

Cultivars and their differences 

Note: Boxwood cultivars have confusing parental categories. All are hybrids.

Boxwood hybrid (Buxus hybrids)
Boxwood hybrid (Buxus hybrids) 'Glencoe'
photo: John Hagstrom

Chicagoland Green®  (Buxus ‘Glencoe’):  2 to 3 feet high and wide; Compact, rounded form; retains green color well in winter; a Chicagoland Grows® introduction.

Green Gem  (Buxus ‘Green Gem’):  2 feet high and wide; mounded form; slower growing than other boxwoods; retains deep green color in winter.

Green Mound (Buxus ‘Green Mound’ ):   2 to 3 feet high and wide; rounded form; mall, glossy green, rounded leaves remain green all winter.

Green Mountain (Buxus 'Green Mountain'):  4 to 5 feet high and 3 to 4 feet wide;  wide pyramidal form; dark green leaves may turn bronze in winter in sunny locations.

Green Velvet (Buxus 'Green Velvet'):  2 to 3 feet high and wide; globe-shaped; leaves retain dark green color in winter.

Northern Charm™  (Buxus ‘Wilson’):  2 to 3 feet high and wide: compact, oval to rounded shape; hardy to zone 4. A Chicagoland Grows™ introduction.


Location of Buxus hybrids (Boxwood hybrids) at the Arboretum

We do not seem to have this in our living collection.