How to Identify Boxwoods

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There are many different types of boxwoods.
There are many different types of boxwoods. (Image: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Boxwoods are commonly used for ornamental shrubs, hedges or privacy screens. Because there are about 90 different species of boxwoods, you need to know what type you are working with so that you can find out how it should be watered, fertilized and cared for. Learn about the different ways to identify a boxwood so that you can grow your shrubs successfully.

Things You'll Need

  • Boxwood book
  • Measuring tape

Observe the form of your boxwood. Some are tall and tree-like, others are columnar, some are short and grow into a mound while still others have pendulous branches rather than compact. Narrowing your boxwood down using its form will decrease the possibilities substantially.

Measure your boxwood. Some boxwood shrubs are tall trees while others are dwarf, compact varieties.

Look at your boxwood's leaves. Some boxwoods have deep green leaves, while others are bright green or yellow green. Check the size of the leaves as well and note their size and shape.

Compare your boxwood statistics to those listed in a book about boxwoods or a reputable website that details information about the shrubs. For example, the Virginia Cooperative Extension website offers information about many of the most common types of boxwoods (see Resources).

Take pictures of the shrub and take it to a local garden center or your county's cooperative extension service if you still cannot identify the boxwood.

References

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