Boxwood Varieties

Finding the right boxwood variety for your landscape.

By Ken Druse


Here is a list of some boxwood cultivars and their characteristics. Height and spread are approximate for plants at maturity, about 15 years of age. The American Boxwood Society has more information on growing boxwood.

Small-leaved Boxwood
Buxus microphylla

  • ‘Grace Hendrick Phillips’.
    Very dwarf; 1'H × 2'W; USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 6–8
  • ‘Compacta’ (‘Kingsville Dwarf’).
    The smallest of them all, tiny leaves, dense, very slow; 1'H × 1.5'W; Zones 6–8

Japanese Boxwood
B. microphyllavar. japonica

  • ‘Green Beauty’.
    Deep green, responds well to pruning, a good substitute for English box; 3'H × 3'W; Zones 6–8
  • ‘Morris Dwarf’.
    Slow, formal hedge for sun; 1'H × 1'W; Zones 6–8
  • ‘Morris Midget’.
    Very dwarf, small leaves, sun tolerant; 1'H × 1'W; Zones 6–8
  • ‘Wintergreen’.
    Cold-hardy, good for hedge, fast-growing; 4'H × 4'W; Zones 5–8


Common or American Boxwood
B. sempervirens

  • B. sempervirens.
    Called American boxwood, tall, tried and true species; 5'H × 4'W; Zones 5–8
  • ‘Dee Runk’.
    Upright fast growth; 8'H x 2'W; Zones 6–8
  • ‘Elegantissima’.
    Best variegated gray-green and cream, disease-resistant; 3'H × 2.5'W; Zones 6–8
  • ‘Fastigiata’.
    Bluish-green upright growth for hedge; 8'H × 3'W; Zones 6–8
  • ‘Graham Blandy’.
    Most narrow columnar, better in cold climates, may need tying or pruning; 7'H × 1'W; Zones 5–6
  • ‘Jensen’.
    Similar to English; 2'H × 2'W; Zones 6–8
  • ‘Newport Blue’.
    Globular, quite blue-green foliage; 4'H × 3'W; Zones 6–8
  • ‘Pyramidalis’.
    Upright cone; 8'H × 4'W; Zones 6–8
  • ‘Rotundifolia’.
    Fast growing, largest leaves, shade tolerant; 5'H × 4'W; Zone 6
  • ‘Vardar Valley’.
    Disease-resistant, bluish new growth, hardy; 1'H × 3'W; Zones 5–8
  • ‘Wanford Page’.
    Long-lasting chartreuse new growth then leaves mottled green and yellow, dwarf; 2'H × 1.5'W; Zones 6–8


Korean Boxwood
B. sinicavar. insularis (B. microphyllavar. koreana)

  • ‘Justin Brouwers’.
    Sun to shade, natural globe; 2'H × 2'W; Zones 6–8
  • ‘Nana’.
    Spreading dwarf with narrow leaves, chartreuse in spring, slow; 1'H × 3'W; Zones 6–8


Hybrid Boxwood
Buxus hybrids

  • ‘Glencoe’.
    Selected at Chicago Botanic Garden, container plant, edging, hardy; 4'H × 5'W; Zones 4–8
  • ‘Green Mound’.
    Sun to shade, globular, hardy; 2'H × 2W'; Zones 4–8
  • ‘Green Mountain’.
    Upright, conical, hardy; 4'H × 3'W; Zones 4–8
  • ‘Green Velvet’.
    Lime green spring growth, mounding, hardy, 2'H × 2.5'W; Zones 4–8

Boxwood Sources

Avant Gardens
710 High Hill Rd.
Dartmouth, MA 02747

Evergreen Nursery
15026 Rhea County Hwy.
Evensville, TN 37332

Fantastic Plants
5865 Steeplechase Dr.
Bartlett, TN 38134-5509

990 Tetherow Rd.
Williams, OR 97544

Girard Nurseries|
6839 North Ridge East
PO Box 428
Geneva, OH 44041

Joy Creek
20300 NW Watson Rd.
Scappoose, OR 97056