Content Detail

Allegheny pachysandra is a semi-evergreen ground cover that is native to the Southeastern United States. It is less well known than the popular Japanese pachysandra, but serves much the same purpose in the landscape.

  • Family (English) Boxwood
  • Family (botanic) Buxaceae
  • Tree or plant type Perennial, Ground cover
  • Native locale North America
  • Size range Small plant (6-12 inches), Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet)
  • Light exposure Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily), Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9
  • Soil preference Acid soil, Moist, well-drained soil
  • Season of interest early spring, mid spring, late spring, early summer, midsummer, late summer, early fall, mid fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Fragrant, White
  • Shape or form Creeping
  • Growth rate Moderate, Slow

More Information

Size and Method of Spreading

Allegheny pachysandra grows only 6 to 12 inches tall and is a colonizing ground cover. Colonizing ground covers produce underground stems that spread out horizontally and shallowly, produce roots and then send up new shoots. Colonizing ground covers have potential to be strong growers, but Allegheny pachysandra generally is easy to manage.

Native Geographic Location and Habitat

This plant is native to the Southeastern United States.

Leaf Description

The simple, alternate leaves are semi-evergreen (deciduous in colder climates) and have coarsely toothed margins. They are somewhat wedge-shaped and because they are clustered at the ends of the stems, they may appear to be whorled.

Flower Description

The small, white flowers are borne in spike-like clusters in early spring. They are lightly fragrant.

Fruit Description

The fruit are small dry capsules, seldom produced in any quantity. They are not ornamentally important.

Care Knowledge

Plant Care

Allegheny pachysandra is best grown in moist, acid, well-drained soils. Avoid full sun sites and poorly-drained soils. In mild climates, this plant is semi-evergreen. It may need some winter protection in colder climates.

Pests, Diseases, and Tolerances  

Allegheny pachysandra is susceptible to volutella. It is resistant to deer.


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