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Buxus is a genus of about 70 species of evergreen shrubs and occasionally small trees found in habitats ranging from rocky hills to woodland in Europe, Asia, Africa and Central America. The leaves of many Buxus species are very small which is an ideal attribute for bonsai. In Spring, Buxus display a show of male flowers with inconspicuous yellow anthers that surround single female flowers.
Flowers on a Buxus/Box bonsai in Spring
The two Buxus species that are commonly seen as Bonsai are Buxus microphylla/ Japanese Box and Buxus sempervirens/ Common Box. Outwardly both of these species are very similar, carrying elliptic, glossy, dark-green leaves to 2-3cm long. The main difference between B. sempervirens and B. microphylla is their vigour; B. sempervirens can reach eventual heights of 5metres with a spread of 5metres, B. microphylla on the other hand is very slow growing, only reaching an overall height of around 75cm with a 1.5metre spread.
BONSAI CULTIVATION NOTES
Box is regarded by some as suitable for indoor cultivation during the Winter and should be placed in an unheated room with good light. Ensure good air-circulation around the tree to avoid fungal diseases.