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Sarcococca ruscifolia

Sarcococca ruscifolia

Description: A slow growing evergreen shrub grown for the exquisitely scented small creamy white flowers in late winter.  The shiny dark green leaves look fresh all year round and when groups are planted then often red berries give additional interest in the autumn.

Uses: As with all sarcococca then ideal for a shady spot. Good for any border large or small and good when planted in groups as they are then more likly to produce berries.. Plant near a pathway so the scent can be appreciated in the winter months.

Climate/Position: Can be grown in shade or partial sun.

Height/Spread: up to 1 metre x 1 metre

Soil Requirements: Can be grown in acid or alkaline soil though a preference for slightly acidic soil is noted.

Pruning: No pruning required.

Special Requirements: A suckering shrub so may for a slightly spreading form over time.

Additional Interest: The genus originates in east Asia, predominantly China and throughout the Himalayas. Sarcococca are all monoecious meaning that male and female flowers are carried separately, but on the same plant. The name is derived from the Greek words sarkos meaning flesh, andkokkos meaning a berry, a reference to the fleshy fruits of the plant. 

Scientific research has shown Sarcococca saligna to have potential use in medicine against microbial resistance in chemotherapy and fungal infection and steroidal alkaloids were isolated in 2000 by American Chemical Society and American Society of Pharmacognosy.