...and another thank you to Jackie Chambers for sharing both today's photograph and write-up. Jackie writes:
Paxistima myrsinites is currently flowering in UBC Botanical Garden's Native Garden. Although they may not be the showiest of spring flowers, those fascinated by detail will appreciate these very tiny maroon flowers, just 3-4 mm wide. The flowers, each with four petals and four stamens, are held in clusters in the leaf axils along the branches. It is interesting to note that the structure of these flowers is very similar to other members of the family. You can use Flowering Plant Families from the University of Hawaii to compare the flowers of other Celastraceae and observe these similarities.
The thick, leathery leaves of Paxistima myrsinites are oppositely-arranged along the stem. Oval in shape with toothed margins, the leaves can be 1-3cm long. For more photos of this species, see Paxistima myrsinites via VirginiaTech.
False box, or mountain boxwood as it is sometimes called, is an evergreen shrub ranges in height from 20-80cm tall, and can have an erect or prostrate growth habit. Its reddish-brown branches may be either smooth or ridged.
Paxistima myrsinites is native to the coniferous forests and dry mountain slopes of British Columbia. Its native range extends south along the west coast into California and northern Mexico. For more information and a map of its BC distribution see E-Flora BC: Paxistima myrsinites.