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Jasmine Box, Latin name Phillyrea Angustifolia, is also called the Narrow-leaved Mock Privet. It is a compact evergreen shrub that rarely grows over 3 meters in height and 2.5 meters in width. It is slow growing and normally takes between 20 to 50 years to attain its full potential.
Phillyrea Angustifolia has opposite leathery, dark green leaves measure 6 centimeters long and are elongated into a lance-shape with a pointed tip. The narrow leaves measure only 6 to 10 mm in width. Many people mistake the Phillyrea angustifolia for an olive tree because its foliage bears a striking resemblance.
In the spring and early summer months, Narrow-leaved Mock Privet is adorned with white clustered flowers that have a pleasing fragrance. The white colour of the flowers stands out in stark contrast to the shrub’s dark green foliage. Following flowering, the shrub produces a small dark fruit. The drupes first appear a dark purplish red and quickly deepen to an almost black colouration. Each individual fruit contains a small seed. The fruits frequently persist into the winter months and add a bit of colour to the garden.
Many people opt to plant the Phillyrea Angustifolia along foundations, as a single specimen, as a plant border or as a short low-growing hedge. It is a favourite plant choice in many cottage style gardens. When grown as a hedge, the shrub can be easily trimmed into any shape and kept compact with an annual summertime prune.
Phillyrea angustifolia is a hardy shrub which is some of its appeal to the landscape gardener. It grows well even in a maritime climate. The shrub’s foliage is exceptionally tolerant of salty air.
Plant the Phillyrea angustifolia in a location with full sunlight. It will withstand partial shade, but for optimum growth prefers at least six to eight hours of sunlight per day. Choose a planting location with well-draining soil. Once planted, keep the soil evenly moist to help the shrub create a strong root system. After the Narrow-leaved Mock Privet becomes established, it can tolerate periods of brief drought.
A hardy shrub, the Jasmin Box grows in most soil pH types. However, it thrives best in soil that is rich in organic matter.
Once planted the tough Narrow-leaved Mock Privet requires very little care to flourish. Plant the small shrub anywhere that you desire year-round visual interest and cover.