The Dutch common name for Buxus is ‘palmboompje’ (palm tree), which is slightly misleading as the Buxus bears no resemblance to a palm tree at all. The Buxus acquired this name because of the Palm Sunday celebrations. Palm Sunday is the last Sunday in Lent, and the Sunday before Easter. In the past, Catholics celebrated Palm Sunday by blessing palm branches with holy water at the beginning of Mass. Nowadays, due to the climate, palm branches are almost always replaced by Buxus branches in northern areas.
Buxus Sempervirens is also known for its hard wood. This made Buxus ideal for making writing tablets and other objects such as chess figures, rosaries, forks, and spoons. This wood was also previously used to make musical instruments including woodwind instruments.
From the 10th to 16th centuries, Buxus was also used a medicine. It was used to treat gout, scabies, and flu, and was even recommended as a hair restorer. In France, the sap of Buxus leaves was used as a remedy for toothache and stomach ache. In Britain, horses are still treated with Buxus to rid them of parasites. A handful of Buxus in the hay is all it takes to ward off the parasites.