May 28, 2017

Outside the Box

Buxus microphylla var. koreana - Korean boxwood

Janine Pineo Photo | Buxus microphylla var. koreana – Korean boxwood

Buxus microphylla var. koreana - Korean boxwood

Janine Pineo Photo | Buxus microphylla var. koreana – Korean boxwood

Some plants were built to be the beautiful backdrop to showy plants, the broad canvas on which the attention-grabbers can sparkle to even better effect. Buxus microphylla var. Koreana is one of those plants, a stalwart that provides an evergreen background. This specimen was photographed at the Lyle E. Littlefield Ornamentals Trial Garden at the University of Maine, where species are trialed for their cold-hardiness. In fact, this boxwood often doesn’t state that it can survive in a Zone 4, although its presence in the garden proves it can do so and thrive. Some cultivars may not be hardy enough, but it might be worth the risk to grow such an impressive shrub. This particular specimen was in a protected area surrounded by other trees and shrubs but still in full sun. It prefers moist, cool soil and tolerates mulch around the roots.

Buxus microphylla var. koreana - Korean boxwood

Janine Pineo Photo | Buxus microphylla var. koreana – Korean boxwood