The intense perfume of the sweet box fills the air in the Dry Garden.
The genus Sarcococca contains 14 species of evergreen shrubs from moist, shady situations in Asia. The majority have alternate leaves and all have tiny, fragrant flowers, with the male flowers bearing conspicuous anthers, and the females hidden below the males. Sarcococca hookeriana is a rhizomatous shrub from western China which grows to 1.5m in height and has lance to oblong shaped, dark green leaves. It produces clusters of fragrant white flowers through winter, which are followed by glossy black fruits. S. hookeriana var. digyna is distinct in having slender leaves and the male flowers having cream anthers. This selection also has red-tinged stems.