University of Maryland Extension: Plant of the week
Text by Ellen Nibali
Photo by Virginia Williams
This delicate ground hugging plant is that prized rarity—a native evergreen ground cover.
Its highly fragrant flowers are borne in white or pinkish pairs over a long period spring to summer. These are followed by red berries (drupes, really) that appear from fall into winter, giving it four charming seasons of interest. Slowly, it forms a dark green mat about 2” high, provided you have a spot it likes—and it’s not unreasonable.
An Eastern woodland native, it needs full shade and acid soil, moist but well-drained, that is as much like a forest floor as possible. Amend soil generously with leaf compost, peat, or ground pine fine amendments where necessary.
Purchase as a container plant with a good amount of native soil attached.