Plantsnap – Identify Plants, Trees, Mushrooms With An App

Japanese Pachysandra (Pachysandra terminalis)


Pachysandra terminalis, the Japanese pachysandra, carpet box or Japanese spurge, is a species of flowering plant in the boxwood family Buxaceae, native to Japan, Korea and China. It is a slow-growing, spreading evergreen perennial growing to 10 cm (4 in) tall by 60 cm (24 in) broad, with alternate, simple, glossy leaves, and creeping stems. The leaves may yellow in direct sunlight or in winter. When growing in a spreading mass of many plants, a dense cover is formed. The flowers are white, borne above the foliage. In temperate Northern Hemisphere sites they appear late in the month of March and throughout the month of April. The plant is very cold hardy. The specific epithet terminalis means "ending", and refers to the clusters of leaves which appear at the end of the short stems. Pachysandra terminalis is cultivated as an ornamental plant, for use as a massed groundcover, low grouped element, or accent plant in the ground. It is a suitable lower plant for container gardening, and shaded or 'northside' window boxes. It takes about three years to establish a solid groundcover in suitable climates, when new plantings are spaced 6–12 inches (15–30 cm) apart. It spreads by new stems sprouting from the spreading root system. The plant prefers a moist and well-drained soil that is both acidic and rich. A humus amended loam (acidic pH) soil, with regular organic fertilizer applications and watering-rainfall is optimal. However, the plant is tolerant of neutral to slightly alkaline pH soils, and to periodic dryness, especially in humid and non-arid climates. Pachysandra terminalis can be propagated by dividing and transplanting clumps, by rooting stem cuttings, or by removing seedlings that have grown through the spread of roots from the main flower.

Taxonomic tree

  • Domain: Eukarya

    • Kingdom: Plantae

      • Phylum: Magnoliophyta

        • Class: Magnoliopsida

          • Order: Buxales

            • Family: Buxaceae

              • Genus: Pachysandra