Christmas box, as Sarcococca is also known, spends its summer providing a deep green backdrop for other, brighter summer plants.
But suddenly, in the depths of winter, you’ll notice an extraordinary perfume on the air. Hunt for the source, and eventually you’ll track it to the small, spidery white flowers of Christmas box, packing a punch far out of proportion to their size.
There are two main types, both evergreen and undemanding. Sarcococca confusa is the largest, growing up to 1.5m tall. S. hookeriana var. digyna is more compact, with narrow, graceful leaves. Plant them anywhere – sun or shade – to enjoy those gloriously perfumed flowers from now till spring.