Botanical Name: Pachysandra terminalis
Common Name: Japanese Spurge  
Plant photo of: Pachysandra terminalis
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Water Saving Tip:

Water-wise plants can be beautiful as well as practical.

Take your 'My List' Hydrozone Report to a landscape designer, or local nursery, when selecting and purchasing plants.

  • Anatomy

  • Culture

  • Design

Plant Type

Broadleaf Evergreen, Ground cover, Perennial


Height Range

Under 1'


Flower Color



Flower Season



Leaf Color



Bark Color



Fruit Color



Fruit Season



Half, Shade





Growth Rate



Soil Type

Sandy, Loam


Soil Condition

Average, Rich, Well-drained, Moist


Soil pH

Acid, Neutral


Adverse Factors


Design Styles

Formal, Japanese, Woodland


Accenting Features

Unusual Foliage


Seasonal Interest

Winter, Spring, Summer


Location Uses

Entry, Shrub Border, Foundation, Parking Strip, Patio, With Rocks


Special Uses

Erosion Control, Filler, Mass Planting, Naturalizing, Small Spaces


Attracts Wildlife


Information by: Stephanie Duer
Photographer: JJ Neilson Arboretum
  • Description

  • Notes

Pachysandra is a low-growing, shrubby, perennial groundcover that is evergreen in mild winters. It grows 8 to 12 inches tall, and spreads 18 to 24 inches. It has leathery dark green leaves that form attractive whorls. Small white flowers are borne in 1 to 2 inch spikes in spring. Spreads by rhizomes, though it does so slowly. If you have loamy or clay-loam soil, this is an excellent choice for dense shade areas under heavily shaded or shallow-rooted trees.
Slow to establish, and it can take a hit in a hard winter, but this is a lovely groundcover well suited for dense, dark shade areas. It does need soils that have been amended, or natuarlly clay/loam soils to thrive. Does not tolerate full sun in this reg