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Similar but less problematic plants:
Distylium Distylium
Viburnum obovatum 'Raulston Hardy' Viburnum obovatum 'Raulston Hardy'
Native alternative(s) for Buxus microphylla var. japonica 'Borderline':
Ilex glabra Leaves
Ilex vomitoria Ilex vomitoria
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Buxus microphylla Buxus microphylla
Buxus microphylla var. japonica Buxus microphylla var. japonica
Buxus 'Green Mountain' Green Mountain

Buxus microphylla var. japonica 'Borderline'

Phonetic Spelling
BUK-sus my-kroh-FY-lah vah-RY-eh-tee jah-PON-ih-kah
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

‘Borderline’ Japanese boxwood is an evergreen shrub in the Buxaceae (boxwood) family. Native to Japan, ‘Borderline’ was  founded as a branch sport by noted author of North American Azaleas, Clarence Towe, of Walhalla, SC. Buxus is the Latin name for boxwood or box tree. The common name of boxwood refers to the wood used to make carved decorative boxes. Another etymology is that boxwood describes the square stems of its young plants. 

‘Borderline’ has dark green leaves with brilliant yellow-gold margins. It does best in cool, well-drained clay or sandy soil in full sun to partial shade. Its foliage will usually remain green in winter if grown in shady areas, but the foliage will usually turn reddish if grown in full sun. Good green color usually returns quickly by mid-spring. Plants may be pruned or sheared as needed. However, this should be done after the last spring frost date, as a late frost may damage new growth. Mulch the plant’s shallow roots to keep them cool and moist, and avoid cultivating around them. Thin plants and remove dead or damaged branches annually to improve air circulation.

‘Borderline’ Japanese boxwood works well as a specimen or accent in the landscape, and it is also useful in shrub borders or foundation plantings. It is commonly used as edging and in formal hedges.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: This plant can be challenging to grow. Boxwood mites and leaf miners can affect stressed plants. Blight and leaf spot can also be an issue. Root rot occurs in poorly drained soil. Foliage burns in hot summer suns or harsh winter winds. 

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

 

More information on Buxus microphylla var. japonica.

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Borderline'
'Borderline'
Tags:
#evergreen#specimen#wildlife plants#nectar plant#winter interest#accent plant#rabbit resistant#year-round interest#hedges#deer resistant#foundation planting#border planting#problem for cats#problem for dogs#bee friendly#problem for horses#shrub borders
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Borderline'
'Borderline'
Tags:
#evergreen#specimen#wildlife plants#nectar plant#winter interest#accent plant#rabbit resistant#year-round interest#hedges#deer resistant#foundation planting#border planting#problem for cats#problem for dogs#bee friendly#problem for horses#shrub borders
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Buxus
    Species:
    microphylla var. japonica
    Family:
    Buxaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Stem Cutting
    Wildlife Value:
    Flowers may be insignificant to a human's eye, but bees find them eye-catching.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 6 ft. 0 in. - 8 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 10 ft. 0 in. - 15 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Perennial
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Fine
  • 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
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Green
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Insignificant
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Variegated
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Dark green leaves with brilliant yellow/gold margins. Broadest above the middle with a rounded or notched tip.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    English Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Foundation Planting
    Hedge
    Security
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Rabbits
    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:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Leaves