Evergreen shrubs, small trees, rarely herbs. Leaves simple, opposite or alternate, leathery; stipules absent. Flowers unisexual, regular, small and inconspicuous in axillary or terminal clusters, each cluster consisting of a single terminal female flower with several male flowers below. Petals absent. Male flowers with 4 sepals and 4 stamens. Female flowers with 4-6 sepals. Ovary superior, 3-chambered with mostly 2 pendulous ovules in each chamber. Fruit a capsule with each of the 3 valves terminated by 2 horns, occasionally a drupe; seeds black, shiny.
5 genera and about 80 species from temperate E Asia, C America, W Indies, W Europe and the Mediterranean.
The wood of some Buxus species is used for woodwork.
Mostly evergreen shrubs with leathery leaves (as in Buxus, Box); fruit splitting through the chambers.
Source: (2002). Buxaceae. In: . 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.