Pachysandra procumbens

Allegheny pachysandra

CODE: 0A6-0001
ZONE: 4a
PRICE: $8.00
POT SIZE: 4.5"sq x 3.5", 475 ml

When I was first introduced to Allegheny pachysandra in my woody plant classes in college, I was fascinated. I never knew that we had such a beautiful, and in my mind, superior counterpart to the ubiquitous Japanese pachysandra.

Don't get me wrong -- I like Japanese pachysandra. But it's so common. And shiny. And green. And I could do without its aggressiveness. So when along comes this native version which offers so much more character, I can't help but be excited.

The foliage on this groundcover is the primary selling point. Dusky green with hints of white mottling, they form a soft, textural mat. As the season progresses the motting becomes more prominent and the leaves pick up a more bluish tinge..

Hardy throughout most of the United States, it stays evergreen south of zone 6 -- in other areas it should be grown as an herbaceous perennial. I still cut back old foliage in spring to clean up the appearance, and it doesn't hurt the plant at all.

The flowers are similar to a regular Pachysandra, producing pinkish-white spikes before new foliage emerges in late March to early April. Reaching about three inches in height, they bear male flowers with fat stamens on the top half of the spike and smaller female floewrs at the bottom.

I love this planted with lungworts like Pulmonaria 'Majeste' and variegated Japanese pachysandra.

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(c) 2007 Christopher P. Lindsey