Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Japanese Spurge, Pachysandra
Pachysandra terminalis

Family: Buxaceae
Genus: Pachysandra (pak-ih-SAN-druh) (Info)
Species: terminalis (term-in-AL-iss) (Info)

7 vendors have this plant for sale.

20 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 Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
4.6 to 5.0 (highly acidic)
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

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There are a total of 14 photos.
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8 positives
1 neutral
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative cazort On Aug 5, 2014, cazort from Jenkintown, PA wrote:

Aggressive, hard to remove, shuts out other plants. Not good for the local ecology. Can persist for years in abandoned gardens, and spread into adjacent wild areas.

I have had this in several gardens where I have gardened...and I hate it. It is one of the first plants I try to remove, and removing it is hard work. It resprouts from a network of underground roots, and takes repeated work to get rid of it.

There are many better ground covers. There is a native pachysandra, Allegheny spurge, but I actually prefer a number of other plants, especially white wood aster, as a replacement.

Positive rickc304 On May 13, 2012, rickc304 from Niles, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

This plant is a cold hardy, evergreen, groundcover which bears very fragrant, small white flowers in early spring.

Positive themikeman On Mar 11, 2011, themikeman from Concord, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

My Mother and Grandmother grew Pachysandras groundcover in my childhood home in the catskill mtns near Kingston NY, along with Periwinkles which i think were vinca bowles variety but im not sure.anyway what im getting at, is that Pachysandras are not only a really cool, neat groundcover, but a wonderful memory for me..peace..mike.

Positive diamonddi On Apr 7, 2010, diamonddi from hollister, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

This plant has provided our landscape with beautiful erosion control year round. It grows beautifully in the sun and in the deep shade, for me. However, I do give it plenty of water in the summer. It is easily pulled up (roots and all) if you find it growing out of bounds.


Negative raywestmi On Jan 16, 2006, raywestmi from Holland, MI wrote:

It is a good ground cover, but it is taking over my garden and moving into my lawn. It sends shoots over 3 ft into my grass, and it makes a dense root mass up to 24" into the ground. It is overgrowing many other plants in my garden. It is January 16, and it is the only thing green with leaves.

Neutral Gabrielle On Jan 16, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

This is a fair enough groundcover, but a bit common and plain for me to want more than a small area of it. In my garden it blooms in April, but they are rather insignificant blooms. My information says it is hardy in zones 3-9.

Positive zorba On Jul 12, 2004, zorba from Lake George, MN (Zone 3a) wrote:

I've had this plant in my yard for over ten years and it has done extremely well. One of the first to bloom in spring and a vibrant green through out the summer. It has spread slowly, but has made a solid carpet and looks great. All this in Zone 3a.

Positive Michael_PS On Apr 8, 2004, Michael_PS from Cleveland, OH wrote:

I agree with the others - pachysandra is maintenance-free. It survives winter, dog's walking over it, and just about anything. And it grows good and looks great! The photo on this site looks like it came from my back yard!

Positive Bricca On Sep 15, 2003, Bricca from Sugar Grove, NC wrote:

This is a great groundcover - attractive year-round. Tolerates traffic from our five dogs, and allows perennials to poke up through it very well. Has a very natural, native woods look. Looks great without any care at all.

Positive lupinelover On Apr 2, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Potentially invasive if grown in loose fertile soil. Otherwise is very well-behaved, and even tolerates some amount of foot-traffic.

A late freeze will prevent its blooming, otherwise completely carefree groundcover.

Positive smiln32 On Aug 3, 2002, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Excellent groundcover. Stays green all year long and requires very little maintenance.


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

Montgomery, Alabama
Prescott, Arizona
East Shore, California
Decatur, Georgia
Bloomington, Illinois
Caseyville, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois
Pekin, Illinois
Washington, Illinois
Indianapolis, Indiana
Derby, Kansas
Prospect, Kentucky
Falmouth, Maine
Skowhegan, Maine
Rockport, Massachusetts
Tyngsboro, Massachusetts
Holland, Michigan
Plainwell, Michigan
Royal Oak, Michigan
Lake George, Minnesota
Saint Joseph, Missouri
Saint Louis, Missouri (2 reports)
Englewood, New Jersey
Whippany, New Jersey
Jefferson, New York
Kingston, New York
Cary, North Carolina
Concord, North Carolina
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Oak Ridge, North Carolina
Rowland, North Carolina
Sugar Grove, North Carolina
Cleveland, Ohio
Niles, Ohio
Enid, Oklahoma
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Cottage Grove, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Altoona, Pennsylvania
Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania
West Chester, Pennsylvania
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Salt Lake City, Utah
Fairfax, Virginia
Herndon, Virginia
Oakton, Virginia
Issaquah, Washington
Olympia, Washington
Muscoda, Wisconsin
Racine, Wisconsin

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