Spotlight on the Sarcococca

Spotlight on the Sarcococca

Chris Whitelock, Resident Plant Expert, makes no secret of his delight in the diminutive Sarcococca and explains why it is the perfect specimen for the patio or home entranceway for this time of year.


Christmas box, as Sarcococca is also known, spends its summer providing a deep green backdrop for other, brighter summer plants. A remarkably versatile plant with attractive glossy evergreen foliage and a neat, compact habit but its outstanding feature is the tiny flowers in winter that have exquisite fragrance. Sarcococca is an excellent choice for the front of a border or planting amongst taller shrubs. Plant it close to the house to enjoy the sweet scent every time you walk by. Sarcococca is shade-tolerant and trouble free. Once in situ, you can enjoy those gloriously perfumed flowers until Spring. A few cut stems bearing the winter flowers will bring that delicious fragrance into your home!

There are two main types, both evergreen and undemanding. 

  • Sarcococca confusa is the largest, growing up to 1.5m tall. 
  • S. hookeriana var. digyna is more compact, with narrow, graceful leaves.

Visit our Outdoor Plant Area to find the glorious Sarcacocca and then take them  home and plant anywhere – sun or shade – to enjoy those gloriously perfumed flowers from now till Spring.