While beginning my garden journey many years ago, I began scouring garden catalogs to learn as much as possible about the multitude of nursery plants available for Virginia. Many were new and strange to me after moving south 2 zones from New York. This one with the weird name sounded interesting - evergreen, shade, early, and fragrant.
Two years ago, I purchased two sarcococca (not sure of the plural) from Lower Marlboro Nursery and planted. Now in its third year, the plant began producing fragrant flowers last week, and finally began showing signs that it is ready to begin spreading.
Lower Marlboro Nursery, 60 miles away (95 km) in Maryland is another story itself. The nursery was essentially one person (Mary) who's mission was to promote and provide native species for the small gardening community who could not find them elsewhere. She propagated, grew, and sold them from her front 'yard' forest. I was a yearly customer. Last year, she decided to call it quits, since the supply and variety of natives is now more bountiful from mainstream garden suppliers - mission accomplished. (Sarcococca is not native here, but she sold it.)
This particular sarcococca is native to the Himalayas, and spreads slowly so I guess it is not at home in my 'invasives' garden. Dark, glossy evergreen leaves are only bothered by an occasional yellowing at the tips and are not harmed by any pests. The tiny flowers go almost unnoticed- resembling shards of hanging fingernails. When they came out last week, I am sure the squirrels and cardinals were amused - me on my hands and knees attempting a sniff. But yesterday, the blossoms became fragrant. They resemble lilacs to my nose. I left plenty of space to spread into a ground cover and continue to patiently wait.
For The Record:
Heavy clay soil with occasional organic amendments
Full shade, average water