Christmas Box, Sweet Box, Himalayan Sarcococca

Sarcococca hookeriana var. humilis

Family: Buxaceae
Genus: Sarcococca (sar-koh-KOH-kuh) (Info)
Species: hookeriana var. humilis
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Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Partial to Full Shade



Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring


Grown for foliage



Provides winter interest

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From semi-hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Old Lyme, Connecticut

Wilmington, Delaware

Lula, Georgia

Louisville, Kentucky

Boston, Massachusetts

Port Chester, New York

Davidson, North Carolina

Oriental, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina

Portland, Oregon

Souderton, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Johnson City, Tennessee

Petersburg, Virginia

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Ames Lake, Washington

Bellevue, Washington

Langley, Washington

Sammamish, Washington

Seattle, Washington (2 reports)

Stanwood, Washington

Charles Town, West Virginia

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 8, 2010, suentommy from Souderton, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I planted this under my kitchen windows years ago. The fragrance when they bloom is wonderful. The plants make a beautiful, neat foundation planting. It smells wonderful on my back patio when they are in bloom. Unfortunately for me is that my dogs like to lay in it.


On Nov 3, 2009, sladeofsky from Louisville, KY (Zone 6b) wrote:

I was surprised to see this listed as zone 7; it is certainly at least zone 6. This plant is a paradox in that it is easily overlooked, and yet stunning if one takes the time to notice it. I use it to fill corners and crannies which are in plain sight but in full shade.


On Jul 13, 2009, bonehead from Cedarhome, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have not noticed a remarkable fragrance from this shrub, and seem to have consistent problems with something eating it (slugs?) and/or turning yellow. It is on the north side of our house, and has done a nice job of spreading out without being a thug. Looks very nice all year (except when the bugs/disease hit it).


On Oct 13, 2005, bluespiral from (Zone 7a) wrote:

I would not want to be without this plant in winter at all. We grow it on a slope, upon which it makes a low, thick, elegant carpet of glossy evergreen leaves all winter, with the most wonderful, pervasive perfume in March. Above it, a creeping juniper cascades down the hill, making a great contrast to the shiny broad leaves of sarcococca with its gray-green needles.

It's one of those plants for which we have seen no pests or disease and which tolerates dry shade. Opposite these plants, deeper into the hill are tree peonies and a couple of Japanese palmate maples (volunteer seedlings). These all associate with each other very well.