Pachysandra terminalis 'Green Carpet'
Common Name: Japanese pachysandra
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Buxaceae
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 0.50 to 0.75 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: April
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen
Fruit: Showy
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer, Drought, Heavy Shade, Erosion, Clay Soil, Dry Soil


Best grown in organically rich, medium moisture, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Foliage tends to bleach when grown in too much sun. Plants thrive in sun dappled shade under large trees. For use as a ground cover, set starter plants 6-12" apart. Plants will spread by rhizomes to form large colonies. Avoid overhead watering and thin plants periodically to promote good air circulation, particularly if plants have experienced problems with leaf blight.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Pachysandra terminalis, commonly known as Japanese pachysandra or Japanese spurge, is a very popular shrubby, evergreen ground cover which grows 8-12" tall and spreads indefinitely by rhizomes to form a dense carpet of rich, dark green leaves. In comparison to the species, 'Green Carpet' is a more compact form (grows to 6-8" tall) which produces darker green leaves with shinier surfaces. Obovate leaves (to 2-4" long) appear primarily on whorls at the stem ends. Tiny white flowers in 1-2" long terminal spikes bloom in early spring. Genus name from Greek means pachys (thick) and andros (masculine) in reference to the male parts of the flower (thick stamens). Specific epithet means terminal in reference to the flower location at the ends of the stems.


No serious insect or disease problems. Leaf blight is a potentially serious problem which can necessitate remedial fungicide applications. Root/stem rot may also occur. Watch for scale and mites.

Garden Uses

Extremely popular ground cover for a variety of shady locations in the landscape including areas under trees, foundations, around shrubs or along walkways. Mass on banks or slopes.