Toxic Parts:
steroidal alkaloids
Flower Color:
  • flower color
  • flower color
  • flower color
gardens, ornamental, hedges, woodlands

Time of Greatest Risk


Geographical Distribution

Boxwood distribution - United States


Buxus sempervirens

Common Box, Boxtree, European Box
8/ 10
Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) is a small tree often used as a hedge for ornamental purposes and landscaping. It is a rounded to broad-rounded broadleaf evergreen shrub or small tree that is native to southern Europe, northern Africa and western Asia, but is found worldwide.

Boxwood characteristics:
  • Shape: Rounded
  • Type: Evergreen foliage
  • Height: 15 to 20 ft
  • Leaves: Dark green; glossy; ovate to elliptic shaped; alternately along the stems, with entire margins.
  • Flowers: Inconspicuous, clusters of small, pale yellow flowers that bloom in spring.
  • Fruit: Pale green to brown fruit capsules in the summer; appear in clusters. Fruits ripen from August to September and contain glossy black seeds.
  • Bark: Light green or light gray; blocky or smooth
  • Root: Dense, cordate root system that grows both deep and wide.
Toxic components
All parts of boxwood is poisonous, but especially the bark and leaves. The plant contains triterpenoidal alkaloids. As little as 1.5 lb of green leaves can be lethal to an average size adult horse.