Perennial Plant of the Week - Alleghany Pachysandra

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Yesterday, I was out taking advantage of a beautiful, but windy day, by getting outdoors. I was searching for photos for future programs and upcoming BYGL Alerts as we inch closer and closer to winter. One plant that I wanted to highlight was pachysandra. But not the Japanese pachysandra (Pachysandra terminalis) that is more commonly planted and likely more familiar to many in comparision to the Alleghany pachysandra (Pachysandra procumbens). This native plant is also called mountain spruge or Alleghany spruge. 


Paul Synder and Jim Chatfield both mention alleghany pachysandra is alerts earlier this season. In the alert, Plant More Pachysandra (, Paul highlighted the spring characteristics including the fragrant flowers. 

The Alleghany pachysandra continue to shine into the fall. Even after a summer filled with high temperatures, lack of rainfall, and no supplemental irrigation, this established ground cover is doing well.


Ground cover of Alleghany pachysandra
Photo Credit: Amy Stone - OSU Extension, Lucas County  


This perennial ground cover spreads by rhizomes. The plant is slower to establish, and ultimately spread or fill in, than its non-native counterpart, but well worth the wait. At the Toledo Botanical Garden it is planted under some pines and Turkish filberts and has produced a dense carpet that keeps out nearly all the weeds or volunteer plants and requires minimal maintenance. 


Pachysandra Plants
Photo Credit: Amy Stone, OSU Extension - Lucas County


While the pictures included in this alert capture the straight species, there are some cultivars including: ‘Silver Streak’, ‘Eco Treasure’, ‘Forest Green’, and ‘Pixie’.


Pachysandra procumbens grows best in part shade to shade in soils that slightly acidic, moist but well drained, and high in organic matter. Do you have place in your landscape that the Alleghany pachysandra might just the plant?