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pachysandra.jpgPachysandra (pak-iss-sand-ruh), spurge; Buxaceae Family. Evergreen or deciduous, pachysandra is a low growing ground covers, especially useful in shady locations where grass does poorly. Once established, pachysandra will make a thick durable ground cover under trees and on slopes. Plant in ordinary soil, but it needs more humus where summers are hot. The short spikes flowers, blooming in May and June, are greenish white and inconspicuous. White berries follow in late August and September.

Pachysandra terminalis (ter-min-nay-liss), Japanese Spurge. A fine ground cover, Pachysandra terminalis is an evergreen plant growing 6 to 12 inches high, with bright green, glossy, abundant leaves. Short sprays of small white flowers begin in late May and continue for two or three weeks.

Prefers a moist, well-drained, acidic, rich soil, but is tolerant of periodically dry soils, once established. Excellent performer in partial shade, full shade, or very deep shade, and will tolerate some sun in cooler climates.

Use pachysandra as a groundcover under shrubs or trees, as a border plant, or in mass plantings, grows in the shade even where grass does not grow. Lush foliage is beautiful year-round; but it is intolerant of foot traffic. Plant 6 inches to 12 inches apart and incorporate light mulch. Forms a solid mass as it slowly spreads by underground rhizomes. Prune to encourage new growth.

PLANTING: Space 6 to 12 inches apart. Grow in soils with a pH range of 5.0 to 7.0. Plant in a moist, well-drained soil in semi-shade or shade. MAINTENANCE: Never allow soil to get excessively dry; otherwise, they require very little maintenance.