Paxistima myrsinites (Pursh) Raf.
Oregon Boxleaf, Myrtle Boxwood, Mountain Lover
Celastraceae (Bittersweet Family)
Synonym(s): Pachystima myrsinites
USDA Symbol: PAMY
Oregon boxleaf is a shiny, low-statured shrub, 8 in.- 2 ft. high, with small, glossy, dark-green leaves arrayed in pairs along ascending branches. The tiny, maroon flowers, appearing in the spring to the South and in summer to the North, are borne in axillary clusters. They are not conspicuous, but the evergreen leaves are attractive both in summer and winter.
Mountain Lover is a member of the staff tree or bittersweet family (family Celastraceae), which includes shrubs, woody vines, and mostly small trees. Widespread, about 700 species; 7 native tree species and several shrub species in North America.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Stems prostrate to spreading, up to about 40 inches long.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Red , Green , Purple , Brown
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug
DistributionUSA: AZ , CA , CO , ID , MT , NM , OR , TX , UT , WA , WY
Canada: AB , BC
Native Distribution: Rockies from Alt. to NM, w. to B.C. & CA
Native Habitat: Open woods; rocky glades; ridge tops
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Well-drained, rich soils.
PropagationDescription: Oregon box is so easily increased by cuttings that seeds are rarely necessary to try. Naturally layered and rooted sections can be carefully divided from the parent.
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
National Wetland Indicator Status
BibliographyBibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Paxistima myrsinites in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Paxistima myrsinites in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Paxistima myrsinites
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-01-25
Research By: TWC Staff