Oregon Boxleaf
Paxistima myrsinites (Pursh) Raf.

The right-hand specimen on the second sheet and the third sheet was collected on the Lolo Trail, perhaps along a branch of Fish Creek, in Idaho Co., Idaho, on 16 Jun 1806.  (Source)

Oregon boxwood is a native, cool-season, evergreen shrub, with maroon flowers. It is low growing, reaching heights of 1 to 3 feet, sometimes spreading, and densely branched. Its leaves are oblong and glabrous. Its fruit is a one- to two-seeded capsule.  It carpets the ground (usually under trees and taller bushes) with slender branches up to several feet long. It often grows no higher than a foot. Its tiny evergreen, leathery leaves are a pleasant, shiny dark green, and  tiny red flowers tucked into the leaf axils are visible if one pokes around on hands and

Oregon boxwood grows on dry to moist sites in shaded mountain areas as high as subalpine habitats.  It can grow in frost pockets in steep ravines or in open woods, ridge tops, and glades. Oregon boxwood can occur on well-drained, shallow, gravelly soils, in clay and silt loams, and cobbly clay. In Idaho it grows at elevations from 6,900 to 8,200 feet. budding in March-May, with flowers in March-June, and fruit in Sept.

Value to Animals:
Oregon boxwood is considered important forage for deer, elk, and moose. Mountain sheep and grouse also browse Oregon boxwood. (