Sarcococca hookeriana Baill.

Suckering evergreen shrub to about 1.5 m tall. New growth hairy. Leaves to about 5 cm long, leathery, rough. Female flowers with 2 styles in var. digyna and var. humilis but 3 in var. hookeriana. Fruit black.

var. digyna Franch. Shrub to 1 m tall. Leaves broader in the lower half. Female flowers with 2 styles. Syn. S. orientalis C.Y.Wu.

var. hookeriana is a shrub to about 1.5 m tall. Leaves broadest in the centre. Female flowers with 3 styles.

var. humilis Rehder & Wils. Small shrub to about 0.5 m tall. Leaves broadest in the centre or thereabouts. Female flowers with 2 styles.

S. confusa Sealy is of uncertain origin and possibly a natural hybrid, S. hookeriana × S. ruscifolia. It is a dense evergreen shrub to about 2 m tall with hairy new growth and leaves to about 6 cm long, elliptic to elliptic-lanceolate and thinly leathery. Female flowers on the same shoot with either 2 or 3 styles; male anthers cream-coloured. Fruit ripening red to black, containing 1-3 seeds.

S. ruscifolia Stapf from W China is a shrub to about 1m tall with hairy new growth and Ruscus-like dark green leaves to about 5 cm long.The female flowers have 3 styles. Distinguishing features include the cream-coloured anthers and red fruits.

S. saligna (D. Don) Müll. Arg. is similar to S. hookeriana but the female flowers have 3 styles and completely hairless young shoots.


Source: Spencer, R. (2002). Buxaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 3. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 2. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

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Distribution map
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Buxanae
order      Buxales
family       Buxaceae
genus        Sarcococca Lindl.