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Products > Myrsine africana
 
Myrsine africana - African Boxwood
   

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Myrsinaceae
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Red/Purple Foliage: Yes
Flower Color: Insignificant
Bloomtime: Not Significant
Height: 6-8 feet
Width: 4-5 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Myrsine africana (African Boxwood) - This is a tough slow growing evergreen shrub that forms a dense upright shrub to 4 to 7 feet tall and 5 feet wide with upright stems bearing tightly overlapping small dark green rounded leaves, with the upper edges slightly cut with fine teeth. Older leaves are leathery and dark green and stems a gray color but new growth, both stems and leaves, have a deep red coloration. In spring appear tiny cream colored flowers at the base of the leaves. A dioecious plant with insignificant flowers - a bit more conspicuous on male plants and berries on female plants - our cutting grown selection is male and we have never seen the berries. Plant in sun or part shade. It is drought tolerant and hardy to about 20 degrees F. A very nice plant for small hedges. This plant has a wide distribution from Asia west as far as the Azores in the Atlantic Ocean south to southern Africa where it is common in both the summer and winter rainfall areas. The name Myrsine is from the Greek name for the similar looking Myrtle. This plant was cultivated as early as 1691 in England and was introduced in cultivation in California by Dr. Francisco Franceschi.  The information provided on this page is based on research we have conducted about this plant in our nursery's library, from what we have found about it on reliable online sources, as well as from observations in our nursery of crops of this plant as well as of plants growing in the nursery's garden and those in other gardens. We will also incorporate comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from anyone who may have additional information, particularly if it includes cultural information that would aid others in growing  Myrsine africana.