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Native alternative(s) for Pachysandra terminalis:
Pachysandra procumbens Pachysandra procumbens
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Salvia rosmarinus Rosmarinus officinalis
Ajuga reptans Ajuga reptans - mass planting wide shot
Thymus vulgaris Thymus vulgaris
Pachysandra terminalis has some common disease problems:
Euonymus Scale

Pachysandra Pachysandra terminalis

Phonetic Spelling
pak-ih-SAN-drah ter-min-AL-iss
Description

Pachysandra terminalis, or Japanese Spurge, is an herbaceous perennial evergreen in the boxwood family typically used as a rhizomatous ground cover. This plant blooms in early spring. This plant does best in part shade to full shade and is intolerant of full sun as foliage yellows/bleaches in full sun or high wind. This plant is often utilized as ground cover for banks, beneath trees, or shady areas. This plant prefers moist, slightly acidic soils that have high organic matter and are well-drained but can tolerate droughty conditions. Plants thrive in sun dappled shade under large trees.

This plant is a very common groundcover that spreads by rhizomes to form large colonies. Avoid overhead watering and thin plants periodically to promote good air circulation, particularly if plants have experienced problems with leaf blight. This plant can spread aggressively and it is difficult to remove. It takes about three years to establish a solid groundcover in suitable climates, when new plantings are spaced 6–12 inches apart.

Diseases, Insects, and Other Plant Problems:

This plant is susceptible to leaf blight, root rot, and euonymus scale.

 

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Annuals, Perennials, Vines, and Groundcovers" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens. 

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Palm House and Gardens
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • ‘Green Carpet’
    waxy deep green leaves on compact stems that do not trail, grows neatly and uniformly.
  • 'Green Sheen'
    Lustrous leaves, deep green, more tolerant of heat, slow growing.
  • 'Variegata'
    Clean white marginal mottling on glossy leaves, much slower growing.
‘Green Carpet’, 'Green Sheen', 'Variegata'
Tags:
#fragrant#evergreen#lawn alternative#spring flowers#apvg#playground#cpp#herbaceous perennial#groundcover#spring interest#childrens garden#fantz#HS302#apvg-vg
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • ‘Green Carpet’
    waxy deep green leaves on compact stems that do not trail, grows neatly and uniformly.
  • 'Green Sheen'
    Lustrous leaves, deep green, more tolerant of heat, slow growing.
  • 'Variegata'
    Clean white marginal mottling on glossy leaves, much slower growing.
‘Green Carpet’, 'Green Sheen', 'Variegata'
Tags:
#fragrant#evergreen#lawn alternative#spring flowers#apvg#playground#cpp#herbaceous perennial#groundcover#spring interest#childrens garden#fantz#HS302#apvg-vg
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Pachysandra
    Species:
    terminalis
    Family:
    Buxaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    groundcover
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Japan and North Central China
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts bees.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Fragrance
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 6 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Creeping
    Horizontal
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    White
    Fruit Type:
    Drupe
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Fruits are a berry-like drupe, whitish in color, and less than an inch in size. Fruits are rarely seen.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Flowers are small, inconspicuous, and apetalous. Stamens are dull white. Inflorescence is an upright spike at shoot end at the center of leaves and are 1-2" in size.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Obovate
    Ovate
    Rhomboidal
    Leaf Margin:
    Dentate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves (2 to 4 inches long) are alternate, simple, obovate to oblong-rhombic to oblong-ovate, dentate, cuneate, and are 3-nerved at the base. Leaves are clustered at upright shoot tip and appear to be whorled.
  • Bark:
    Bark Description:
    True bark does not develop.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Stems are decumbent, greenish, and glabrous.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Recreational Play Area
    Slope/Bank
    Landscape Theme:
    Children's Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Foundation Planting
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Compaction
    Deer
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Erosion
    Heavy Shade
    Rabbits