Flower Fairies by Cicely Mary Barker - Box Tree Flower Fairy


Have you seen the Box unclipped,
Never shaped and never snipped?
Often it's a garden hedge,
Just a narrow little edge;
Or in funny shapes it's cut,
And it's very pretty; but...

But, unclipped, it is a tree,
Growing as it likes to be;
And it has its blossoms too;
Tiny buds, the Winter through,
Wait to open in the Spring
In a scented yellow ring.

And among its leaves there play
Little blue-tits brisk and gay.

 Flower Fairies by Cicely Mary Barker - Box Tree Flower Fairy


Box Tree (buxus)

The box tree can grow as tall as 30 feet but can be grown as a garden shrub as well. They are evergreens that love cool climates and are long-living in their growth habit. The box tree is a tough plant that thrives in most soils in sun or shade and are becoming adaptable to warmer climates.  The do well with regular clipping making them ideal for topiaries and formal hedges and mazes. Propagate from cuttings.

Boxwood was once used for woodcut blocks for printing. The small clusters of greenish yellow flowers attract bees.

Before Europeans discovered America, the Red Indians were using the bark in the same way as Peruvian bark. It is valuable in intermittent fevers, as a weak tonic for the stomach, and antiperiodic, as a stimulant and astringent. As a poultice in anthrax, indolent ulcers, and inflamed erysipelas, it is tonic, stimulant and antiseptic. In the recent state it should be avoided, as it disagrees with stomach and bowels. Cinchona bark or sulphate of quinea often replace it officially. 35 grains of Cornus bark are equal to 30 grains of cinchona bark. 

The leaves make good fodder for cattle, and in Italy the oil is used in soups. 

The ripe fruit, infused in brandy, is used as a stomachic in domestic practice, and a tincture of the berries restores tone to the stomach in alcoholism. 

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