The boxwood can reach a height of up to eight meters, but mostly in the trope. In this country, it usually grows shrubby up to a height of four to five meters and this comparatively slowly. It is mainly native to Southwest and Central Europe as well as West Asia and North Africa. The boxwood is evergreen.
The boxwood is characterized by a dense and widely branched foliage, which is why it can be used not only as a shrub, but also as a whole hedge. Because it grows so densely, it serves as a visual protection and is also robust and easy to care for. The leaves of the boxwood are oblong to oval and dark green with a light green underside.
Between March and June it develops fragrant flower bundles, which produce many pollen and nectar, which makes the boxwood very attractive for bees. From the end of August, the fruit capsules of the shrub start splitting and then scatter small black seeds, which are picked up and spread by ants. Thus, the boxwood is one of the few native shrubs whose seed distribution via ants (Myrmechorie).
The boxwood is a popular ornamental plant and can be used in many ways, be it as a single ornamental tree, as a hedge, as a privacy screen or as an artistically cut figure. Due to its dense foliage, the figures are very symmetrical and seamless as in almost no other plant.
Especially in splendidly landscaped gardens in Renaissance and Baroque style, the boxwood shows all its skill as an ornamental plant. So one sees him still today in large numbers in well-known castle gardens. Uncut, it can reach a height of up to ten meters and is thus very decorative for any park or large garden. With the right cut he can be artfully cut into animal forms, sculptures, columns or balls.
The boxwood is very decorative if it is planted in pots of terracotta, cut into a ball and placed in front of driveways or front doors with a second, identically cut plant. So he contributes to a neat and Mediterranean-looking appearance. Because it has an extraordinary symmetry and is therefore extremely malleable, it forms a wonderful opportunity to combine modern architectural style with classic elements of garden design.
If it is planted in a row, it can develop as a dense hedge with a height of one to one and a half meters. Nevertheless, a little patience is necessary, because boxwood grows much slower than other hedge plants - but the wait pays off, because hobby gardeners are rewarded with an evergreen, always densely growing hedge. If the location of the boxwood is not too dry, it can even be cultivated as underbrush in shadier places.If hedges with a lower height or flat borders are to be laid for beds and paths, the best choice is the variety Buxus sempervirens suffruticosa . This species reaches a maximum height of 50 centimeters and is up to 30 centimeters wide.
But the boxwood can also fulfill decorative purposes outside the garden: its beautiful, evergreen leaves can be wonderfully used as table decorations in the form of garlands or for Christmas Türkränze or Advent wreaths. Once upon a time, wreaths were made for the glory of the winter solstice, and they were turned upside down, as they were supposed to bring good luck.
The boxwood contains many valuable ingredients, such as essential oils, alkaloids or even vitamin C. It is considered in a sense as a medicinal plant and can be applied, inter alia, fever or liver disease both internally and externally. Important: In the boxwood, in the roots and in the leaves, alkaloids such as Buxin are contained, which are very toxic to animals and humans in higher doses.
Because of this, you can not take the boxwood as easily as other plants, but it can still be used, for example, for compresses, hand or Fußbäder and skin diseases. In rheumatism it is pain-relieving in the form of envelopes.
A few decades ago, when natural medicine was even more pronounced because the supply of chemically manufactured medicines was still relatively limited, boxwood was often used as a tea infusion for fever. For this you took two teaspoons of the leaves and poured over with a liter of hot water. With a cup per day, the fever should be effectively lowered.
Although the boxwood plays a major role as a medicinal herb in natural medicine and can often have a very positive effect on various ailments, you should not use components of the plant in any case, without first consulting a doctor. He can give precise information about which parts of the tree may be used internally or externally.
Symptoms of boxwood poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, over-excitement and convulsions. In addition, severe poisoning can lead to paralysis or death due to respiratory paralysis, but this usually only happens if the plant is used incorrectly.