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Valentine.gr  

January 2008

Did you know that the name of Sarcococca hookeriana was associated by mistake with the streetwalkers (hookers)?

 Sweet Box (Sarcococca hookeriana) 

Sweet Box - Sarcococca Spp.

Sarcococca (Sweet box) is a genus of 16-20 species of flowering plants in the family Buxaceae, native to eastern and southeastern Asia and the Himalaya. They are slow-growing evergreen shrubs 1-2 m tall. The leaves are borne alternately, 3-12 cm long and 1-4 cm broad. They bear fragrant flowers, often in winter. The fruit is a red or black drupe containing 1-3 seeds. Some species are cultivated for ground cover in shady areas. The genus name is a redundancy meaning Fruit (Sarcos) Berries (Cocca), as the drupes do provide the shrub a most attractive feature. 

This is a much overlooked evergreen sub genus of about 11 species, native from Afghanistan to China and the Philippines. Apart from one species - Sarcococca saligna, from Afghanistan to Nepal - the flowers, though small, are very fragrant. Even on a frosty morning their scent prevades the still air. They are also extremely useful plants for dry, shady situations. 

Sarcococca hookeriana was named for Joseph Hooker (Sir. Joseph Hooker (1817-1911), Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens) who collected widely in the Sikkim Himalayas in 1848/9 and greatly added to the botanical knowledge of this area. This species, native to the eastern Himalayas and on to south-east Tibet, is not as hardy as its varieties from further east, although it did receive an Award of Merit in 1936. 

Sarcococca hookeriana is an evergreen shrub, spreading readily by suckers, with bright green stems which will grow in favourable areas to 2m (6'). The leaves are bright green, shiny and lanceolate with a pointed tip and a wedge-shaped base. The fragrant flowers, which appear in the axils of the leaves, are unisexual and white. The tiny stigmatic flowers are found just below the male flowers. These are followed by shiny, black berries. 

Its Chinese variety digyna was introduced by Ernest Wilson in 1908 and this has proved to be hardier than the species, and it is dwarfer too. It is distinguished by its two (instead of three) styles on the female flowers; the male flowers have cream-coloured anthers. This plant received an Award of Merit in 1970 and the Award of Garden Merit in 1984.

Sarcococca hookeriana var humilis (sometimes given specific status) is a native of west China and was first found by Augustine Henry but introduced by Ernest Wilson in 1907. It differs in its elliptic leaves, pink anthers and dwarfer stature. It too suckers to form dense patches. Its berries are small and shiny black. 

Starting in February & throughout late winter, the little shrubs are covered with tiny creamy-white tubular flowers that release sufficient perfume to really spice up a shadilly enclosed garden. 

The shrub is self-pollinating. The male flowers have pink anthers; the female flowers have two styles. Flowers are followed by purple-black berries which add considerable ornamental value. 

According to one story Sarcococca hookeriana is named after General Joseph Hooker from the american civil war. Surely sarcococca hookeriana was named for Joseph Dalton Hooker (arguably the most important British botanist of the nineteenth century. A traveller and plant-collector, he was one of Charles Darwin's closest friends and eventually became director of Britain's Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew) rather than general Hooker! However General Hooker is responsible for another name. 

Our modern day streetwalkers that we also know as 'hookers' today got that name as back in the civil war days a band of prostitutes would follow General Hooker's troops and camp nearby them so they could make some money by 'servicing' Hooker's troops!


Source:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarcococca
http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~gdk/stabotanic/feb06pom.htm

http://www.paghat.com/sarcococcahumilis.html

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/ load/ohioval/msg0613372713855.html

 

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Suicide Tree - Cerbera odollam
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Madagascar ocotillo - Alluaudia procera
Water Banana - Typhonodorum lindleyanum
Salak - Salacca zalacca
Natal Plum - Carissa macrocarpa
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Java Apple - Syzygium samarangense
Screwpine - Pandanus utilis
Marimo - Aegagropila linnaei
Achocha/Caigua - Inca cucumber - Cyclanthera pedata
Rubber Tree - Hevea brasiliensis
Sugar cane - Saccharum officinarum
Sacha inchi - Plukenetia volubilis
Coffea - Coffee Tree - Coffea arabica
Liquorice - Licorice - Glycyrrhiza glabra
Mullein -Verbascum thapsus
Iceplant - Mesembryanthemum crystallinum
Chayote - Sechium edule
Roselle - Hibiscus sabdariffa
Black Goji - Lycium ruthenicum Murray
Rose Cactus - Pereskia grandifolia
Durian - Durio zibethinus
Jackfruit tree - Artocarpus heterophyllus
Cassabanana - Sicana odorifera
Chilean myrtle - Arrayan - Luma apiculata
Kurrajong - Brachychiton populneus
Rice-paper Plant -Tetrapanax papyrifer
Shell Ginger - Alpinia zerumbet
Harlequin Glorybower - Clerodendrum trichotomum
Coco de Mer - Lodoicea maldivica
Silver Tree - Leucadendron argenteum
Buffaloberry - Shepherdia argentea
Himalayan Honeysuckle - Leycesteria formosa
Raisin Tree - Hovenia dulcis
Borojo - Alibertia patinoi - Borojoa patinoi
Butterfly Pea - Clitoria ternatea
Honey Flower - Melianthus major
Ombu - Phytolacca dioica
Lion's Ear - Wild Dagga - Leonotis leonurus
Moringa - Miracle Tree - Moringa oleifera
Sea Daffodil - Pancratium maritimum
Spear Lily - Gymea - Doryanthes
Camphor tree - Cinnamomum camphora
Waterwheel - Aldrovanda vesiculosa
Flowering rush - Butomus umbellatus
Four o'clock - Marvel of Peru - Mirabilis jalapa
Dead Manís Fingers - Decaisnea
Bitter Melon - Momordica charantia
Shoapnuts Tree - Shoapberry - Sapindus
Acerola - Malpighia
Monkey Ladder - Sea Heart - Entada gigas
Cherimoya - Annona cherimola
Caper - Capparis spinosa
Lithops - Living Stones
Chaste Tree - Vitex agnus-castus
Chilean Lantern Tree - Crinodendron hookerianum
Parrot's Beak - Lotus berthelotii
Water Hyacinth - Eichhornia crassipes
Guaiac Tree - Guaiacum officinale - Lignum-vitae
Mickey Mouse bush - Ochna serrulata
Cow's Udder - Solanum mammosum
Miracle fruit - Synsepalum dulcificum
Akebia - Akebia quinata
Chilean Firebush - Embothrium coccineum
Caesalpinia - Caesalpinia pulcherrima
Welwitschia - Welwitschia mirabilis
Saguaro - Carnegiea gigantea
Schisandra - Schisandra chinensis
Monarda - Bee balm - Bergamot
Tamarind - Tamarindus indica
Neomarica - Walking Iris
Red hot poker - Kniphofia - Tritoma
Sikkim rhubarb - Rheum nobile
Reseda - Mignonette
Paulownia - Paulownia tomentosa
Belamcanda chinensis - Leopard lily
Blue Poppy - Meconopsis
Cannonball Tree - Couroupita guianensis
Tamarillo - Cyphomandra betacea
Goji - Wolfberry - Lycium barbarum
Vanilla - Vanilla Planifolia
Stevia - Stevia rebaudiana
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Physalis
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Clematis
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Jade vine - Strongylodon macrobotrys
Sansevieria - Snake Plant
Trochetia
Yareta - Azorella compacta
African tulip tree - Spathodea campanulata
Angel's Trumpets - Brugmansia
Achiote - Annato - Bixa orellana
Sausage Tree - Kigelia pinnata
Castor Oil Plant - Ricinus communis
Firewheel Tree - Stenocarpus sinuatus
Bat Flower - Tacca
Snake gourd - Trichosanthes cucumerina
Sedum
Hydnora - Hydnora africana
Pickerel Weed - Pontederia
Argan - Argania spinosa
Astilbe - False Goats Beard
Feijoa - Pineapple Guava - Acca sellowiana
Aquilegia - Columbine
Cassiope
Sweet Box - Sarcococca
Christmas Cactus - Schlumbergera
Foxtail Lily - Eremurus
Rue - Ruta graveolens
Pittosporum
Ylang-Ylang - Cananga odorata
Rose of Jericho - Anastatica hierochuntica
Gunnera
Waterlily - Nymphaea
Calico Flower - Aristolochia
Daylily - Hemerocallis
Contorted hazel - Corylus avellana Contorta
Torch Ginger - Etlingera elatior
Mistletoe - Viscum album
Devil´s claw - Harpagophytum procumbens
Teasel - Dipsacus
Pampas grass - Gynerium argenteum - Cortaderia Selloanna
Purple coneflower - Echinacea purpurea
Coral Tree - Erythrina crista-galli
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Field Poppy - Papaver Rhoeas
Narcissus - Daffodil
Mimosa pudica - Sensitive Plant
Boxwood - Buxus sempervirens
Firethorn - Pyracantha
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Papyrus - Cyperus papyrus
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Honeysuckle - Lonicera
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Calendula - Marigold
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Canna - Indian Shot
Witch Hazel - Hamamelis
Oak - Quercus
Brunsvigia - Candelabra Flower
Tree peony - Paeonia suffruticosa
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Cornflower - Centaurea cyanus
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Chaenomeles - Flowering Quince
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Amaryllis - Hippeastrum
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Bay Laurel - Laurus nobilis
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Artichoke - Cynara scolymus
Clivia - Clivia Miniata
Dipladenia - Dipladenia sanderii
Date palm - Phoenix dactylifera
Peach - Prunus persica
Almond - Prunus amygdalus
Willow - Salix
Pomegranate - Punica granatum
Protea cynaroides
Colchicum autumnale
Bird of Paradise - Strelitzia reginae
Cardon - Pachycereus pringlei
Wolffia arrhiza
Puya raimondii
Fuchsia
Asphodelus - Asphodel
Primula - Primerose
Dicentra spectabilis - Bleeding Heart
Edelweiss - Leontopodium alpinum
Helleborus Niger - Christmas Rose
Zantedeschia - Calla Lily
Fritillaria imperialis - Crown imperial
Aster
Heliconia
Common Sunflower - Helianthus annuus
Bee Orchid - Orphys apifera
Convalaria majalis - Lily of the Valley - Muguet
Syringa Vurgaris - Lilac
Viola
Impantiens
Snowdrop - Galanthus
Poinsettia - Euphorbia pulcherrima
Dionaea muscipula
Banksia
Sea anemone
Amorrhophallus titanum
Rafflesia arnoldi

 

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