Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Allegheny Spurge
Pachysandra procumbens

Family: Buxaceae
Genus: Pachysandra (pak-ih-SAN-druh) (Info)
Species: procumbens (pro-KUM-benz) (Info)

8 vendors have this plant for sale.

15 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade
Partial to Full Shade


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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5 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral FlyPoison On Jun 30, 2014, FlyPoison from Rock Hill, SC (Zone 7a) wrote:

Allegheny Spurge is a much preferable alternative to Pachysandra Terminalis. That said, it spreads extremely slowly growing beneath a black oak in my woodland garden. The plants that come up remain for many years but I still only have very few per each original planting after 3-4 years. Although the leaves look very soft, they're actually very rough and can hold up very well over time. For me it's more of novelty plant than a real groundcover.

Positive coriaceous On Mar 28, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

An attractive native semi-evergreen groundcover. Most years it's evergreen here in Boston Z6a. More clump forming than P. terminalis, and with a much coarser foliage texture.

The silvery spotting/overlay on the foliage is very attractive, but does not appear till the weather cools in October, when the background color of the leaves takes on a darker, purplish cast. It usually remains attractive here through the winter till the new foliage appears in spring. The degree of silvering varies from clone to clone.

The flowers generally are not very showy, and are often lost beneath the foliage. I can't smell their fragrance unless I lie down and sniff them.

Positive Rickwebb On Dec 4, 2013, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

It is a nice native groundcover. I first saw it growing at Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL, west of Chicago, where the topsoil is most often silty, and usually with a pH range of 6.8 to 7.1. The soil does not have to be acid, just moist and well-drained. I planted a clump right next to my house foundation in se PA where my soil is a good quality clay with a pH of 6.9. It has been doing well and is slowly expanding.

Positive nhammerh On Sep 21, 2009, nhammerh from Alexandria, VA wrote:

First grew this plant in the mountains of SW Va. (z5) It performed well in sun and shade, though the ones in sun were a little stunted. I now have it in the D.C. area (z7), where it must be in shade with adequate water. All the ones I planted in dry shade (maple shade) have declined terribly; even w/ irrigation.

Positive havenheart On Nov 21, 2005, havenheart from Falling Waters, WV wrote:

This is one of my favorite groundcovers...evergreen in our zone 6B, new green foliage, greyish green mottled rosettes ongoing, purplish fall color, and a spiky pale pink flower. Slow to get started, but thick and matting after the second to third season. A beautiful addition to the native garden, but at home as a shady edging anywhere! Seems happy in any soil and even in dry conditions.

Positive Terry On May 6, 2004, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Slower-spreading and arguably prettier than its Asian cousin Pachysandra terminalis it can be argued that this lesser-known native should get more attention from gardeners looking for a well-behaved groundcover. I planted a few plugs last spring in my woodland garden, and am pleased with the slow-but-steady spreading nature of it.

I didn't know to look for the silver/pewter pattern on the leaves last fall, but I've planted several more pots of P. procumbens in a prominent bed near our front sidewalk, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it does year-round.

Neutral smiln32 On Apr 2, 2002, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This clump-forming, 36" wide native is composed of pewter-green foliage on long prostrate stems. In spring, stalks of 4" tall, white bottlebrush-like flowers arise from the center of the clump...great when used in a mass in the woodland garden.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Florence, Alabama
Gadsden, Alabama
Marietta, Georgia
Downers Grove, Illinois
Hebron, Illinois
Lisle, Illinois
Washington, Illinois
Roslindale, Massachusetts
New Boston, New Hampshire
Skillman, New Jersey
Charlotte, North Carolina
Flat Rock, North Carolina
Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Burns, Tennessee
Dickson, Tennessee
Alexandria, Virginia
Falling Waters, West Virginia

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