Japanese Spurge

November 16, 2017 Chelsea Quimby

Botanical Name: Pachysandra terminalis
Height: 6-10”
Width: 12”
Exposure: Part Sun, Shade
Performance: Perennial
Bloom: White


Pachysandra terminalis is a popular evergreen groundcover from Japan. It’s perfect for small shade gardens as it slowly spreads by underground runners to form a dense carpet of lush green foliage.

The key to growing Japanese Spurge is finding a location with plenty of shade or filtered sunlight. It thrives in woodland gardens or understory plantings with moist, well-drained, acidic to neutral soils and tolerates occasional drought, especially once established.


While used for its evergreen foliage, tiny white flowers appear in early spring. The plant’s genus Pachysandra means “thick stamens” referring to the coarse pollen-bearing floral structures, while terminalis means “terminal” and refers to the flowers location at the stems end.


This hardy, low-maintenance groundcover practically cares for itself once established. A few benefits include the plant’s rabbit and deer resistance, high urban pollution tolerance, and its ability to keep down weeds because of its dense mat habit.