Sarcococca hookeriana var. digyna ‘Purple Stem’

Purple Stem sweet box

  • © Joy Creek Nursery

  • © Joy Creek Nursery

Outstanding Qualities

Although the flowers are not conspicuous, they bring an impressively sweet scent in wintertime. The dark green, semi-glossy evergreen foliage is attractive year-round and the stems on this selection are a lovely purplish color.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: shrub

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 3 ft. 0 in. (0.91 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 3 ft. 0 in. (0.91 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 5 ft. 0 in. (1.52 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 5 ft. 0 in. (1.52 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 to 9

Flower Color: white

Sun/Light Exposure: open to deep shade

Water Requirements: drought tolerant once established, but appreciates occasional water during very long dry spells

Seasonal Interest: year-round glossy dark green foliage with purple stems; tiny, but fragrant, flowers in winter

Culture Notes
Purple Stem sweet box grows best in open to deep shade. It prefers a rich moist to well-drained soil, but will tolerate sandy locations and clay if the drainage is adequate. Once established it is drought tolerant, but appreciates occasional watering during long, dry spells. It is slow to become established, often taking a couple of years to settle in. Little pruning is needed other than the occasional removal of dead or broken branches. In severe and sudden cold snaps it can defoliate, but it will leaf out in spring.
Geek Notes
Originated in Japan in 1880-1.