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Sarcococca are compact, sometimes suckering evergreen shrubs with simple, leathery leaves and tiny, fragrant creamy-white flowers in winter or spring, followed by red, purple or black berries which may persist into the following winter.
S. orientalis is a compact, bushy, evergreen shrub to 1m tall and wide. Stout shoots bear oval to lanceolate, glossy leaves, up to 9cm long, that taper to a point. Fragrant, creamy-white flowers, the males tinged pink, are borne in winter and followed by black fruits.
Grows best in moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soil in light shade. Avoid dry, exposed sites.