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Japanese Box Buxus harlandii

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
BUK-sus har-LAND-ee-eye
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Mature Buxus harlandii have some drought tolerance and better pest resistance than most boxwoods, however, has limited cold tolerance.  In northern areas, it should be planted in a location protected from strong winds.  Winter winds can remove moisture from the leaves, resulting in dehydration and bronzing.

Harland Boxwood is tolerant of pruning, however, pruning should be done after the last frost. Pruning will lead to tender new shoots, which can be damaged by a late frost. Its shallow roots should be protected with a layer of mulch. Limit cultivation around these shallow roots, it can damage the plant. Location and maintenance of this plant can have an effect on its health. Protect from winds and full winter sun by placing in a location where these conditions are limited. Winter winds can cause dehydration and bronzing. Remove any accumulated snow to protect the branches. Thinning plants annually will assist with air circulation. 

This variety leafs out early.

In the deep south, this plant is sometimes grown in containers.

Insects, Diseases and Other Plant Problems: 

Some susceptibility to leaf spot and to leaf spot and boxwood blight that causes premature defoliation and dieback.  Poorly drained soils may cause root rot. Susceptible to boxwood leaf miner and boxwood mites. Foliar injury during harsh winters.

'Richard' cultivar is one of the least susceptible boxwoods to boxwood blight disease.

VIDEO Created by Elizabeth Meyer for "Trees, Shrubs and Conifers" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.

More information on Buxus.

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Richard'
    Smaller in size with larger, heart-shaped leaf
'Richard'
Tags:
#evergreen#fragrant flowers#drought tolerant#perennial#bonsai#woody#winter interest#accent plant#rabbit resistant#hedges#deer resistant#foundation planting#borders#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Richard'
    Smaller in size with larger, heart-shaped leaf
'Richard'
Tags:
#evergreen#fragrant flowers#drought tolerant#perennial#bonsai#woody#winter interest#accent plant#rabbit resistant#hedges#deer resistant#foundation planting#borders#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Buxus
    Species:
    harlandii
    Family:
    Buxaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    China (Guangdong, Hong Kong) and Hainan
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Resistant to leafminers, deer
    Dimensions:
    Height: 4 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 4 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Perennial
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Multi-stemmed
    Rounded
    Vase
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Inconspicuous and not showy.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Description:
    Fragrant non-showy, creamy yellow. Staminate flowers are stalked by pisilate one are sessile.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblanceolate
    Oblong
    Obovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Leathery, lustrous, dark green leaves. Each leaf is acute at the base and has an indentation at the tip. Leaves are thinner than other boxwood species.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Square
    Stem Description:
    New stems green, mature to brown, square shape.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Patio
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Foundation Planting
    Hedge
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Insect Pests
    Problems:
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Dogs and cats: vomiting, diarrhea; Horses: colic, diarrhea, respiratory failure, seizures
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Alkaloids
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No