Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!


Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Enter a Plant Name:
Or choose a plant family:
Paxistima canbyi (Canby's mountain-lover)
Makin, Julie

Paxistima canbyi

Paxistima canbyi A. Gray

Canby's Mountain-lover

Celastraceae (Bittersweet Family)


USDA Symbol: paca

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A low-growing, broadleaf evergreen shrub often used as a ground cover or low hedge. Grows 1 ft. tall and 3-5 ft. wide. The small, shiny, dark-green leaves are of more interest than the inconspicuous, small green flowers. The leathery foliage sometimes turns a bronze-purple in winter.


From the Image Gallery

9 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Size Notes: Up to about 1 foot tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Green , Brown
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May


USA: KY , MD , NC , OH , PA , TN , VA , WV
Native Distribution: Mts. of w. VA & WV & scattered localities in adjacent states
Native Habitat: Shaded cliffs & banks; rocky, wooded slopes

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Fertile, well-drained soils.
Conditions Comments: An easily cultured and adaptable evergreen ground cover. Although the plant roots where the branches touch soil, it spreads very slowly. Needs protection from winter sun and wind.


Description: Increase by layering branches. Short stem cutting taken in summer and grown in sand under glass will root.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Evergreen plants safe for horses in Louisville, Kentucky
May 16, 2010
I have a horse farm in Louisville, Ky. I want to plant evergreen plants along the walls in front of the horse barns. What types of plants are not toxic to horses can I use? Thank you so much for all y...
view the full question and answer

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
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE


Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America - beta site (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2022-11-17
Research By: TWC Staff

Go back