Botanical Name: Paxistima canbyi
Small greenish red flowers bloom in May but are too small to be ornamentally significant.
This broadleaf evergreen has shiny, dark green leaves that turn a bit bronze in the winter.
A small capsule that has no ornamental significance.
A low, spreading evergreen shrub that is multistemmed and somewhat slow growing.
Reaching only about 12 inches tall but having a spread of up to 4 feet when happy.
Full sun for the fullest plants. Partial shade is tolerated but the plants won't grow as nicely.
Appalachian Mountains of the eastern United States.
This plant does well in a higher pH and does not want to be too wet. A well drained soil is essential.
Description: Another common name for this plant is Mountain Lover. These are good descriptions because this plant tends to thrive under adverse conditions. It is a nice little low growing evergreen shrub growing to 1 foot high and 3 feet in diameter. It makes an excellent small ground cover for droughty inhospitable areas. I first saw this plant growing very nicely in containers. They were at one of the most poorly run container operations I have ever seen since it was an adjunct to a much larger nursery and the container area was woefully neglected. Plants were allowed to dry out and indeed quite a few of them were dead, but Paxistima was doing very well. I bought some of these Paxistimas and put them in our nursery, and low and behold, within a short period, almost all of them died. They just cannot stand good treatment. We had stopped growing them for a number of years and then somebody gave me a plant. Iím not sure exactly where it came from, but it was one that did relatively well in our nursery. We have propagated from it and we grow it in our dry area, (the same area where we grow our Arctostaphylos, Daphnes and other plants that like to be on the dry side). Paxistima is doing quite well there, and I recommend it as a nice small rock garden or ground cover plant for what one would normally think of as a very tough area.