TREES & plants

Allegheny pachysandra

Allegheny pachysandra is a semi-evergreen ground cover.

Allegheny pachysandra is a semi-evergreen ground cover that is native to the Southeastern United States.  It is less well known than the popular Japanese pachysandra, but serves much the same purpose in the landscape.

Botanical name: 
Pachysandra procumbens
All Common Names: 
Allegheny pachysandra, Allegheny spurge, mountain spurge, mountain pachysandra
Family (English): 
Family (Botanic): 
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Ground cover, 
  • Perennial
Native Locale: 
  • North America
Landscape Uses: 
  • Foundation, 
  • Massing, 
  • Mixed border, 
  • Patio/sidewalk
Size Range: 
  • Small plant (6-12 inches)
Light Exposure: 
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily), 
  • Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)
Hardiness Zones: 
  • Zone 5 (Chicago), 
  • Zone 6, 
  • Zone 7, 
  • Zone 8, 
  • Zone 9
Soil Preference: 
  • Acid soil, 
  • Moist, well-drained soil
Season of Interest: 
  • Early spring, 
  • Mid spring, 
  • Late spring, 
  • Early summer, 
  • Mid summer, 
  • Late summer, 
  • Early fall, 
  • Mid fall
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • Fragrant, 
  • White
Shape or Form: 
  • Creeping
Growth Rate: 
  • Slow, 
  • Moderate
More Information: 

Size and Method of spreading

Allegheny pachysandra grows only 6 to 12 inches tall and is a colonizing ground cover.   Colonizing ground covers produce underground stems that spread out horizontally and shallowly, produce roots and then send up new shoots.  Colonizing ground covers have potential to be strong growers, but Allegheny pachysandra generally is easy to manage.

Plant Care

Best growth is in moist, acid, well drained soils.  Avoid full sun sites and poorly drained soils.  In mild climates this plant is semi-evergreen.  It may need some winter protection in colder climates.

Disease, pests, and problems

No common serious problems.

Disease, pest, and problem resistance

Resistant to deer.

Native geographic location and habitat

Native to the Southeastern United States.

Leaf description

The simple, alternate leaves are semi-evergreen (deciduous in colder climates) and have coarsely toothed margins .  The are somewhat wedge-shaped and because they are clustered at the ends of the stems, they may appear to be whorled.

Flower description

The small, white flowers are borne in spike-like clusters in early spring.  They are lightly fragrant.

Fruit description

The fruit are small dry capsules, seldom produced in any quantity.  Not ornamentally important.

Pachysandra procumbens or Allegheny pachysandra