Faux Boxwood is one of the most popular varieties used for building topiary balls, hedges, spirals and cones. The popularity of faux Boxwood has a lot do to with the popularity of Boxwood being used as a landscaping shrub in both commercial and residential landscape designs. The following article explores the Boxwood history, geography, uses and types of faux Boxwood.
Common Name: Boxwood, Buxus
Additional Boxwood Names: English, American, Korean, Japanese, Curly Locks, Green Beauty, Green Pillow, Littleleaf, Morris Midget, Vardar Valley, Dwarf, Graham Blandy, Pendula, Kingsville Dwarf, etc.
The genus Boxwood belongs to the Buxaceae family. There are approximately 70 species. The name Boxwood originates from the plant’s easy to maintain, box-like appearance. These flowering shrubs are grown as small, compact bushes. Most varieties have unattractive flowers and are used as privacy hedges or borders. It has been shown though, that the Boxwood plant, grown in the wild, exhibits a sprawling behavior. Boxwoods are most commonly grown as hedges and for topiaries.
Boxwoods are slow growing, evergreen shrubs and small trees. Their leaves are waxy, rounded, and leathery. The leaves are small in most species, typically 1.5 cm long. The flowers are small and yellow/green color, with both sexes present on a plant. The fruit is a small bud, containing several small seeds.
The Boxwood shrubs are very elegant shrubs that keep the landscaping looking crisp and sharp. They are known for their very dense leaves, and the way that they grow, remaining so compact. The Boxwood shrub reaches about 3′ tall when mature. The fact that it grows so slow is helpful to landscapers, wanting to shape them into a precise pattern. Mulching Boxwood shrubs is essential to their growth. Their roots grow very shallow, so they require protection from the heat.
Boxwood trees are considered mature at 4′ tall, but can grow up to 10′. The Boxwood tree has beautiful dark green leaves. The plants are very full and plush. Boxwood trees maintain their color throughout winter, and in the spring they produce flowers. These blooms have no petals, but can still put out an appealing aroma.
Boxwood is native to western and southern Europe, southwest, southern, and eastern Asia, Africa, and Madagascar, South America, Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. The majority of the species are tropical or sub-tropical. Only the European and Asian species are frost-tolerant. Boxwoods need well-drained soil or their roots will rot. They can be planted in full sun, but thrive in a partially shaded area. Hot direct sunlight has been known to scorch the leaves and the blooms. Morning sun – afternoon shade is the best.
Boxwood is often used to make chess pieces. Wooden chess sets almost always use Boxwood for the white pieces. Boxwood is also used for high quality violin and viola fittings, and for wooden combs. Boxwood material was also known to manufacture recorders. The extremely fine, wood grain of Boxwood makes is suitable for woodblock printing. Shrubs are often used in wreaths, garlands, and other Christmas decorations.
Types of Artificial Boxwood:
The most common use for faux Boxwood is creating topiaries including artificial Boxwood hedges manufactured from 12” x 12” square Boxwood mat tiles. In addition, Boxwood garlands and bushes are used to manufacture boxwood topiary balls, spiral, cone, obelisk, cube, and cypress shaped Boxwood plants. Silk Boxwood topiary trees and plants are offered in a variety of sizes including 4’, 5’, 6’, 7’ & 8’ (foot).
Manufactured from fine plastic, the Boxwood leaves can be manufactured for indoor and outdoor use. Unlike artificial Boxwood, manufactured from fabric, the plastic Boxwood is suitable for outdoors and can withstand exterior weather conditions including sun, rain, and wind. Outdoor faux Boxwood matting is being used by some of the finest hotels, resorts, restaurants & casinos to create artificial green walls and privacy hedges.