Buxus, Or Boxwood. Care, Cultivation, Reproduction, Planting. Photo

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Buxus, Or Boxwood. Care, Cultivation, Reproduction, Planting. Photo
Buxus, Or Boxwood. Care, Cultivation, Reproduction, Planting. Photo

Video: Buxus, Or Boxwood. Care, Cultivation, Reproduction, Planting. Photo

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Video: Caring for your Buxus (Boxwood) Plants 2023, January
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Boxwood (Buxus) is a genus of plants in the Boxwood family. These are slow-growing evergreen shrubs and trees, growing to a height of 2-12 m (occasionally 15 m). According to the latest data, the genus boxwood has more than 100 species. The Latin name of the genus comes from ancient Greek. πύξος - bucs, borrowings from an unknown language. In the "Explanatory Dictionary of the Living Great Russian Language" other Russian names for boxwood are given - buks, green tree, gevan, bukshpan, shamshit, and also palm. Synonyms: Crantzia, Notobuxus, Tricera

Boxwood
Boxwood

In Russia, boxwood is often grown as a potted crop, and in warmer climates as a hedge.

In addition, boxwood is one of the classic plants for bonsai, for this, boxwood has many advantages: it grows in a small container, easily tolerates pruning, bush well, has small leaves, and is simply a useful plant.

Content:

  • Botanical description of boxwood
  • Boxwood care
  • Reproduction of boxwood
  • Boxwood distribution and ecology
  • Conservation status of boxwood
  • The meaning and application of boxwood
  • Boxwood
  • Using boxwood as a medicinal plant
  • And a little more mysticism …
  • The poisonous properties of boxwood

Botanical description of boxwood

Boxwood leaves are opposite, from elliptical to almost rounded, whole-edged, leathery.

Boxwood flowers are small, unisexual, in axillary inflorescences, fragrant.

The fruit of the boxwood is a three-celled capsule, which, when ripe, cracks and scatters black shiny seeds.

Boxwood
Boxwood

Boxwood care

Temperature

In summer, room temperature is common, although boxwood prefers to be outdoors. You can take it out to the balcony when the threat of spring frosts has passed, and it can be brought in in the fall, with the first cold weather. Boxwood should overwinter in cool conditions with limited watering. For thermophilic species, the optimum winter temperature is about 16-18 ° C, not lower than 12 ° C. Frost-resistant types of boxwood can hibernate in open ground with shelter.

Lighting

Boxwood loves bright, diffused light. In summer, shade from the direct midday sun is required. In the garden, boxwood is placed in the natural shade of taller shrubs or trees.

Watering boxwood

Quite abundant in summer, more scarce in winter, depending on the temperature.

Fertilizer

From March to August, every 2 weeks. Fertilizer is suitable for azaleas.

Air humidity

Boxwood responds well to periodic spraying with settled water.

Boxwood transplant

Annually to soil with a pH reaction close to neutral. A mixture of 1 part of coniferous land, 2 parts of leaf land, 1 part of sand (vermiculite, perlite). You can add pieces of birch charcoal. Good drainage is required, the planting container should not be too spacious, otherwise the plant will slow down in growth.

Boxwood
Boxwood

Reproduction of boxwood

Boxwood propagates by cuttings and seeds. In culture, it usually propagates by summer and autumn cuttings, since the seeds have a very long dormant period. Boxwood cuttings take root long and hard. The cuttings should be semi-lignified at the base, no longer than 7 cm and have 2-3 internodes. For rooting, it is recommended to use phytohormones (root, heteroauxin) and soil heating in a room greenhouse.

Boxwood distribution and ecology

There are three large areas:

  • African - in forests and forest-steppes south of Equatorial Africa and Madagascar,
  • Central American - in the tropics and subtropics south of northern Mexico and Cuba (25 endemic species); American species are the largest-leaved plants of the genus, often reaching the size of medium-sized trees (up to 20 m),
  • Euro-Asian - from the British Isles through Southern Europe, Asia Minor and Western Asia, Transcaucasia, China to Japan and Sumatra.

In Russia, on the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus, in gorges and river valleys in the second tier of deciduous forests, one species grows - Colchis Boxwood, or Caucasian (Buxus colchica). A unique boxwood forest is located in the middle reaches of the Tsitsa River on the territory of the Tsitsinsky forestry of the Kurdzhipsky forestry enterprise in the Republic of Adygea, has the status of a site with a protected regime. Its area is about 200 hectares.

The area of ​​boxwood is constantly decreasing due to felling. Especially large areas of relict boxwood forests were damaged in autumn 2009 during the construction of the Olympic road Adler - Krasnaya Polyana. Several thousand trunks were uprooted and buried.

Boxwoods are very unpretentious plants: they grow on scree, on the edges of forests, in shrubs and dark deciduous forests. Very shade-tolerant, but also thermophilic. In nature, they live on slightly acidic soils.

Colchis boxwood, branches with leaves and fruits
Colchis boxwood, branches with leaves and fruits

Conservation status of boxwood

Colchis boxwood is listed in the Red Book of the Russian Federation.

The meaning and application of boxwood

Boxwood is one of the most ancient ornamental plants used for landscaping and ornamental horticulture (often called Buxus). Valued for its dense, beautiful crown, shiny foliage and ability to tolerate a haircut well, which allows you to create hedges and curbs from them, as well as bizarre shapes that retain their shape for a long time.

Catholics in Western Europe decorate their homes on Palm Sunday with boxwood branches.

Boxwood in a tub
Boxwood in a tub

Boxwood

Boxwood is a kernelless ripe woody breed. This means that in freshly cut wood, the difference in color between sapwood and ripe wood is almost imperceptible. Dried boxwood has a uniform matte color from light yellow to waxy color, which darkens little over time, and a homogeneous structure with narrow annual layers. The vessels are small, solitary, not visible to the naked eye. The core rays are almost invisible in the cuts. The wood tastes a little bitter, there is no particular smell.

Boxwood is the hardest and most dense wood found in Europe. Its density is from 830 kg / m³ (absolutely dry) to 1300 kg / m³ (freshly cut), and its hardness is from 58 N / mm (radial) to 112 N / mm² (end).

In terms of strength, boxwood exceeds hornbeam: for compression along the fibers - about 74 MPa, with static bending - 115 MPa.

Hard, homogeneous, heavy boxwood wood is used for small carving work on wood, in the manufacture of small dishes, chess pieces, cue ball for playing novus, musical instruments, machine parts from which high wear resistance was required in combination with a perfectly smooth surface: printing machine rollers, spools and weaving shuttles, measuring instruments, parts for optical and surgical instruments. The twisted sections are used to make smoking pipes.

Boxwood sawn across the grain (end) is used in woodcut (woodcut). Boxwood is the best wood for woodcuts, and this led to its almost complete destruction in the second half of the 19th century, when illustrations in newspapers around the world were cut on boxwood boards, sometimes the size of a newspaper spread.

Saw veneer was made from boxwood and is being made in small quantities using special machines with a thin cut. In the XX and XXI centuries, due to the high cost, boxwood veneer is used only for inlays.

Tsuge (Japanese name for small-leaved boxwood) is the wood used to make shogi figurines.

Offers to sell boxwood on the market are rare and the price is very high.

Using boxwood as a medicinal plant

Already in ancient times, boxwood was used as a remedy for coughs, gastrointestinal diseases, as well as chronic fevers, such as malaria. As a remedy against malaria, it is supposedly comparable in action to quinine. Due to their toxicity, boxwood preparations are rarely used these days, since they are very difficult to accurately dose. Overdose can lead to vomiting, seizures, and even death. Homeopaths still use boxwood as a remedy for rheumatism.

Boxwood in a pot
Boxwood in a pot

And a little more mysticism …

Boxwood is used to make amulets. It is believed that boxwood twigs serve as an excellent amulet against various evil spells, from dark magic, for example, from the evil eye and damage, from energy vampirism. In addition, boxwood twigs, placed under the pillow, can protect against bad dreams. It is also believed that if a person constantly carries a twig of boxwood with him, this gives him the gift of eloquence and protects him from accidents. In addition, earlier boxwood charms were used as a "castle" for sorcerers. These boxwood amulets "covered" the sorcerers, not allowing them to use their powers for evil.

The poisonous properties of boxwood

All parts of the plant and especially the leaves are poisonous. Boxwood contains about 70 alkaloids, among others, cyclobuxin D. In the leaves and bark, the alkaloids content is about 3%. The lethal dose of cyclobuxin D for dogs is 0.1 mg per kilogram of body weight when taken orally.

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