Sarcococca ruscifolia

Sarcococca ruscifolia

Sarcococca ruscifolia is an evergreen shrub that hails from China. It grows only to about 1 m in height and width. It has tiny, white flowers in winter, which are sweetly scented; these are followed by bright red berries. I value it because it will grow in shade, even nasty dry shade. Its shiny, pointed leaves are very reminiscent of the tough, shade-tolerant foliage plant Ruscus aculeatus, (sometimes known as the insect plant, because of its strange flowers on its 'leaves' (actually stems), which do look just like little bugs!) and indeed the species name of this Sarcococca references this connection. I like growing the two plants together in a difficult shaded position as they just seem to look so right together. Neither plant needs any attention at all, but I do try to keep them well mulched and provide some water in hard times.