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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 10 | Buxaceae | Pachysandra

1. Pachysandra procumbens Michaux, Fl. Bor.-Amer. 2: 178, plate 45. 1803.
[E F]

Allegheny or mountain spurge

Herbs 10–40 cm, sparsely to densely pubescent, hairs short, curved. Leaves crowded distally on stem; petiole 1.5–8 cm; blade darker green adaxially, often with pale mottling along veins, elliptic to ovate, broadly ovate, rectangular, obovate, or nearly orbiculate, 3–11 × 2.5–8 cm, base cuneate to broadly cuneate or, sometimes, trun­cate and abruptly cuneate, margins coarsely dentate distal to middle, apex acute, surfaces dull, moderately to sparsely pubescent. Inflorescences 1–3(–10), from leafless nodes near base of stem, rarely from rhizome. Staminate flowers 18–38, sessile, each subtended by 1 bract; tepals 4, ovate to broadly ovate, 3–5 mm, mar­gins with minute hairs, apex rounded to acute. Pistil­late flowers 1–3(–7), sessile or pedicellate; tepals 3–5 mm, margins with minute hairs, apex rounded to acute; ovary (2 or)3(or 4)-carpellate, apical lobes (2 or)3(or 4), locules 1 per carpel; styles 3; ovules 2 per locule. Fruits capsules, 12–16 mm, apex 3-lobed, densely and minutely hairy. Seeds 3–6, black, 3–4.5 × 2–2.5 mm; with small caruncule. 2n = 24.

Flowering Feb–May; fruiting Jul–Aug. Rich, moist woods, near streams, on limestone soil; 50–1000 m; Ala., Fla., Ga., Ky., La., Md., Miss., Mo., N.C., Pa., S.C., Tenn., W.Va.

Pachysandra procumbens is native to the Gulf coastal plain and the Cumberland Plateau; it is believed to be introduced in Maryland, Missouri, and Pennsylvania.


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