This section is from the book "Commercial Gardening Vol4", by John Weathers (the Editor). Also available from Amazon: Commercial Gardening, A Practical & Scientific Treatise For Market Gardeners.
The Common British Box (B. sempervirens) is the best for commercial purposes. It is extensively grown for hedges, coverts, etc, and, owing to the fact that it stands clipping well, is now grown in a variety of fantastic shapes for topiary work in large pots, tubs, or boxes (see Vol. I, p. 13). There are many varieties, that known as suffruticosa being largely used for edging purposes. Others, like angusti-folia, myrtifolia, rosmarinifolia, latifolia, have peculiarities of foliage indicated by the names. There is a pretty golden-leaved form called aurea, a silvery one, argentea, one called marginata edged with yellow or cream, a broad-leaved one called Handsworthiana, and a drooping variegated form, as well as a variable Japanese variety called japonica. With the exception of suffruticosa, which is increased by division in spring, all other kinds of Box are propagated by cuttings inserted in sandy soil in cold frames. The Minorca Box (B. balearica), which is said to attain a height of 80 ft. in the Mediterranean region, has oblong elliptic leaves about 2 in. long, and is comparatively quick growing. It is raised from cuttings and layers.