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Pachysandra procumbens (Allegheny spurge)
Vick, Albert F. W.

Pachysandra procumbens

Pachysandra procumbens Michx.

Allegheny Spurge, Mountain Spurge

Buxaceae (Boxwood Family)


USDA Symbol: PAPR7

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

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.


From the Image Gallery

19 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Retention: Semi-evergreen
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: 4 to 9 inches high
Leaf: Dark green with pale green mottling
Flower: Flowers in 2 to 4 inch flower spikes

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


Propagation Material: Root Division , Softwood Cuttings
Description: Propagate by division of established clumps in Aug. or Sept. Softwood cuttings may be taken in spring or early summer.
Commercially Avail: yes
Maintenance: Protect from north wind to insure leaf retention through winter.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Longwood Gardens - Kennett Square, PA
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE


Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Pachysandra procumbens in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Pachysandra procumbens in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Pachysandra procumbens


Record Modified: 2013-09-09
Research By: TWC Staff

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