1. Buxus sempervirens Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 983. 1753.
Shrubs 1–3(–8) m, glabrous, except puberulent on young shoots, petioles, and basal portion of leaves. Leaves: petiole to 2 mm; blade elliptic to widely elliptic, 1.5–3 × 0.7–1.7 cm, base cuneate, apex obtuse or, occasionally, retuse, surfaces darker green adaxially. Capsules 8 mm diam. Seeds 5–6 mm. 2n = 28.
Flowering spring; fruiting late summer–fall. Old homesites, waste places; 0–1000 m; introduced; N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Pa., R.I., Tenn., Va., W.Va.; s, w Europe; sw Asia; nw Africa.
The hard, heavy wood of Buxus sempervirens is used for engraving, marquetry, turning, tool handles, mallet heads, and musical instruments. All parts of the plant are toxic if ingested; contact with the plant may cause dermatitis (W. H. Lewis and M. P. F. Elvin-Lewis 1977).