Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Pachysandra procumbens

Allegheny spurge, Mountain spurge

Buxaceae (Box Family)

Pachysandra procumbens (Allegheny spurge)
Vick, Albert F. W.
Mountain spurge or Allegheny spurge is a low perennial, spreading with long rhizomes. Toothed leaves crowd near the top of somewhat fleshy, 6 in., erect stems. Fragrant, white flowers cluster in a spike, the many staminate flowers above, the few pistillate flowers below. Leaves and stems are evergreen. Once the new shoots mature, the previous seasonís growth disappears. Leaves have scalloped margins and are marbled with silver and purple.

Mountain Spurge is an excellent ground cover for shady areas. It is considered more attractive than the over-used, Asiatic Pachysandra terminalis. The native species grows slowly and will not take over like P. terminalis.

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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Retention: Semi-evergreen
Size Notes: 4 to 9 inches high
Leaf: Dark green with pale green mottling
Flower: Flowers in 2 to 4 inch flower spikes
Size Class: 0-1 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
Bloom Notes: Color white or pale pink, fragrant, often appearing before new leaves emerge in early spring.


USA: AL , FL , GA , IN , KY , LA , MS , NC , PA , SC , TN
Native Distribution: E. KY to w. NC, s. to LA & FL, Zones 6 to 8.
Native Habitat: Rich woods with limestone substrate. Rare.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
Soil Description: Moist, humus-rich, acid soil. In the wild, found in rich soils with limestone substrate.
Conditions Comments: Can be evergreen if placed where it is protected from north winds.


Use Ornamental: A lovely, well adapted, low groundcover for the Southeast woodland landscape or shade garden.
Warning: Can be toxic and sometimes fatal to animals if eaten. Humans should generally avoid ingesting plants that are toxic to animals.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes

Last Update: 2013-09-09