Mystery Plant – September 2009

Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais

If you know the genus and species of this month’s mystery plant, you could win a free one-year subscription to Fine Gardening . Send your entry, along with your complete mailing address, by September 30, 2009 to [email protected] . The winner will be chosen at random from all correct entries.

Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais

Last month’s Mystery Plant was Allegheny spurge (Pachysandra procumbens). As opposed to the common pachysandra (Pachysandra terminalis, Zones 4-8), which is native to China and Japan and can be found in gardens all across the country, Allegheny spurge is native to the southeastern United States and is perfect for native plant enthusiasts looking for a durable, attractive, evergreen, native ground cover. It grows to 12 inches tall and spreads indefinitely, and has medium green leaves that are neat and clean and have a matte texture, unlike the shiny leaves of its Asian cousin. Allegheny spurge is hardy in Zones 5 to 9 and prefers partial to full shade. It is adaptable to almost any soil, as long as it’s not exceedingly dry. Leslie Schaler of Montague, Massachusetts, was chosen at random from all correct entries to receive a free one-year subscription to Fine Gardening. Congratulations, Leslie!

What eLetter subscribers have to say about Pachysandra procumbens:

“A great native alternative to overused, invasive Pachysandra terminalis! And much more elegant, too.”
-Sarah Munroe, Oakton, Virginia

“We had it at our house growing up in Bay City, Michigan. It was one of the first plants I learned to recognize.”
-Billie Slater, St. Paul, Minnesota

“I wish I had this native plant!”
-Lynn S. Pennett, Downingtown, Pennsylvania

“Pachysandra flourished for me as a wonderful groundcover when I lived and gardened in Cincinnati. I have not been able to get it to survive in my steamy seaside garden in Mt. Pleasant. No complaints though because my Camellia japonica, C. sasanqua, etc. thrive and bloom profusely and almost act as groundcovers!”
-Jerry W. Weise, Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina

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