box, common name for the Buxaceae, a family of trees and shrubs with leathery evergreen leaves, native to the tropics and subtropics of the Old World and to Central America. The boxes (genus Buxus ) have been widely introduced to other regions for use as hedge plants and for their wood. Boxwood is close-grained, strong and hard, and polishes well; it is valued for wood engraving, carving, and turning, and for making musical instruments. Pachysandra procumbens, a native American species of an otherwise Asian genus, is a low, creeping herb found in the S Appalachians and cultivated elsewhere as a ground cover. The box family is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Euphorbiales.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.