Buxus sempervirens is a shrub to 6 m or more, evergreen, densely branched, twigs 4-sided, finely hairy.
Leaves opposite, stalk very short, blade elliptic, 0.5-1 (sometimes to 3) cm long, egg-shaped or oblong, tip blunt to notched, base abruptly tapered to stalk, surface dark green above, light to yellow-green below; midrib conspicuously whitish, other veins obscure, margin smooth (entire).
Flowers whitish, fragrant, small, no petals, sexes separate (monoecious) male flowers 4-parted, female flowers 6 sepals; inflorescences of small axillary clusters; blooms April-May. (Dirr 1990; Rehder 1986).
Wetland status: NL.
Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent.
Origin: S. Europe, N. Africa.
Habitat: Not known to escape from cultivation. Probably an overgrown horticultural planting.
Notes: Superficially similar to Ilex crenata or I. glabra, which have alternate leaves.