Correct botanical name for Sarcocca ruscifolia or sweet box

Discussion in 'Woody Plants' started by janetdoyle, Oct 19, 2009.

  1. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    Is this plant "Sarcocca" or "Sarcococca" ruscifolia? I have just transplanted one from the top of a berm area under heavy evergreen cover near our townhouse to another sloping area being improved elsewhere on the strata [condominium townhouses] property, equally shady but seems more moist. The plant, quite large, but with a rather small root area which might have become diminished when I dug it out, is doing famously in its new location. Lots of water from the skies recently, of course, and I did add some phosphate to the rooting area...
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Sarcococca.
     
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    • Maintain organic material (mulch) on landscapes; this provides a slow release of phosphorus and
    other needed macro- and micronutrients over time.
    • Don't use phosphate fertilizer when transplanting; in most cases ammonium nitrate fertilizer is
    adequate.
    • If you have a nutrient deficiency that is not relieved by nitrogen addition, try a foliar application of
    likely nutrients and see if the symptoms are alleviated. This prevents excessive addition of
    mineral nutrients to the soil.


    http://www.puyallup.wsu.edu/~linda chalker-scott/Horticultural Myths_files/Myths/Phosphate.pdf
     
  4. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    Oh good, thanks. I didn't use too much, however -- the destination slope is not heavily planted but was basically just soil and roots from the evergreens overhead. I'll watch for chlorosis in the Sarcococca and Salal planted, and add nitrogen if this happens. The landscaper had previously lightly applied a general fertilizer of some sort to start all plantings we are putting there [a collection of shade-loving items to fill up the shady berm area so that it doesn't look bare]. We may mulch it as well, but it is a vast area and would require a lot of mulch, perhaps beyond our budget. We have transplanted plugs of various Lamium and Lamiastrum [creeping variegated groundcovers] transplanted from runaway collections of these things in various resident gardens in this townhouse strata. The area is a long sweeping shaded inside berm inside a street sidewalk border, needing groundcover. I will be careful in future regarding phosphate... Why is it included in a dominating amount in formulas for transplant fertilizers? Anyhow, so far the Sarcococca and Salal are taking off vigorously after only about 10 days...
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Sarcococca likes a fertile, even limey soil whereas salal is a heath family plant needing it to be on the dry and infertile side, and often giving spotty results when establishment of ground-covering mass planting is attempted in locations not perfectly suited to it.

    Occurs...on nitrogen-poor soils....Often dominant on...water-shedding sites; forms thickets on cutover areas with relatively undisturbed forest floors. On nutrient-rich sites, restricted to decaying coniferous wood...An oxylophytic species characteristic of Mor humus forms

    --Klinka/Krajina/Ceska/Scagel, Indicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (1989, UBC Press, Vancouver)

    Yellow archangel running rampant elsewhere may do likewise in your new plantings, if it likes the conditions.
     
  6. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    The Sarcococca seemed to doing well, that's why I transplanted it; in the area I found it in, someone had discarded it: it was growing lushly in an evergreen-forested berm, pretty shady, and owing to the surrounding trees it must have been acidic or moderately so... it seems to be taking to its new home [similar, but below the trees except for the tree roots] for now, with its winter bloom developing, but we'll see what happens. The Salal sprouting around our properties in this strata seems to be vigorous in its transplant too to the same shaded berm -- but it is pretty early on to see how it will do. I did see today in someone's private garden patch in this strata, a planting of Sarcococca in more sunny area near a front door and planted below a large overgrown Hydrangea [the latter is going to be removed]... it was doing wonderfully there!

    I should do some soil-testing to get the data on these locations... I'll have to find out who does that here, how much it costs...
     
  7. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    Ron, thanks for your editing additions above. Well, the Sarcococca is now in what is probably a nitrogen-poor water-shedding area [on a shady slope] -- unless you were referring to the Salal. Well, we are budget-poor and we needed some groundcover -- the yellow archangel and some white-variegated ones, they are actually mainly white-variegated, can cover this whole slope under the shrubbery and I will be happy! We can trim it away from the shrubs... I can post a picture soon and you will see what I mean...
     
  8. ErWe

    ErWe Member

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    thx for that advice!
     

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