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Perennials: Pachysandra procumbens

Botanical name: Pachysandra procumbens

Common name: Allegheny spurge

also known as (American thick-stamen, Allegheny pachysandra, Mountain Spurge)

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Photo credit: Siegelgirl
Perennials: Pachysandra procumbens
Perennials: Pachysandra procumbens
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Brooklyn, Ny

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Soil: dry, neutral, sand
Zones: 4a thru 10b

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description for "Perennials: Pachysandra procumbens"

Allegheny Spurge or Mountain Spurge is an elegant clump forming groundcover. White flowers emerge on the ground before broad dark green foliage unfurls. Prefers moist, free draining soil. In virtually every respect, it is superior to its more frequently used Asian cousin, Pachysandra terminalis. P. terminalis is a very aggressive, stoloniferous thug in the garden. While this can be an asset if you want to fill in a very large area super fast, its well behaved American cousin, P. procumbens, is a clump forming groundcover that fills in an area a little more slowly, but much more elegantly. P. procumbens is hardy in most areas of the U.S., probably into zone 4, maybe even zone 3. In zones 7-10 it stays evergreen, but in colder areas it is a herbaceous perennial. In the early spring, when the ground is bare, P. procumbens. shoots up these really cool spikes of pink and white fragrant flowers that last for a week or two. Soon after the flowers have set seed, the first shoots of foliage poke their heads up through the soil and their dark green leaves begin to unfold. In deep shade, the foliage remains a dark, luxurious green all summer. The more sun that the plants get, the lighter their leaves are. I planted a row in full sun as an experiment to push the plant to its extreme. The plants were healthy and productive but the leaves were paler in color, some with an almost chloritic appearance. This is definitely a dappled-to-deep shade plant! In the late summer to early fall, P. procumbens reminds us of the approaching autumnal equinox by "opening its windows to let in more light." This takes the form of a beautiful silvery mottling on the leaves which are like snowflakes in that no two patterns are alike. In the end, they are all brilliant and unique. P. procumbens is a very easy plant to propagate. You can take leaf cuttings in the early spring, but root divisions are quicker and easier. There are many "joints" on a mature rhizome. If you make a complete cut at each joint, leaving the plant above it with a few good roots intact, you will have several 2"-4" pieces that you can pot up or lay out in a flat and cover with about a 1/2" of soil. Root pieces taken in the early spring, while the plants are still dormant, will produce new plants ready for planting the same season. All in all, its hard to find a better, all around more useful ground cover than Pachysandra procumbens. [Source:] -- edited by dtd siegelgirl


Native to West Virginia down through Louisiana and across to Florida.

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