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box

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.

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