The Genus Sarcococca (Buxaceae), Origin: SE Asia, Himalayas, W China
The name comes from the Greek “sarx”, flesh and “kokkos”, berry an allusion to the fleshy fruits.)The genus includes 11 species of slow-growing, evergreen, dwarf and medium shrubs or small trees.
Sarcococca are generally grown for their attractive evergreen foliage and fragrant flowers produced during the winter months when they are particularly welcome. The flowers are small, off-white to cream to pink with male flowers at the apex and female flowers at the base (occasionally male and female flowers in separate racemes). Of secondary value are the red to black berries produced in the autumn.
They flourish in a neutral to alkaline pH, preferring a humus-rich soil although frequently tolerating a dry, calcareous soil. They grow best in partial shade, but will tolerate full sun provided there is sufficient moisture in the soil.
Propagate either by division for the rhizomatous species or by hardwood cuttings, taken in autumn and inserted into a cold frame.
The plants are scattered throughout the Gardens. A leaflet with a map can be picked up at the information point inside the main entrance on Clarkehouse Road.