Euonymus- Spindle Tree

Deciduous and evergreen garden shrubs. The latter are cultivated only in their variegated forms, while the larger deciduous shrubs are famous for their beautiful berries and fine autumn colouring.


The evergreen species fortunei develops rooting climbing shoots and is often planted against house walls. Euonymus japonicus is sometimes clipped into a low hedge. The deciduous species are used singly or in combination with other shrubs.


Not too dry, reasonably rich.


By layering, from basal shoots, from cuttings and from seed which rapidly loses its power to germinate.

Euonymus alatus: Height 2 m; inconspicuous flowers, corky ridges on the branches, purple berries, scarlet seed. Euonymus europaeus, common spindle tree: Height to 4 m, square twigs, oval leaves, 7 cm long; orange-yellow berries, white seeds. ‘Atrorubens’ has darker crimson berries; ‘Red Cascade’ is a weeping form. Euonymus fortunei: Evergreen species, height to 2 m, horizontal branches frequently developing roots, which also enable the shrub to cling to walls. Best known are the variegated forms such as ‘Gracilis’, with white margins to the leaves, and ‘Silver Gem’, ditto, but with a more climbing habit. ‘Vegeta’ has dark-green, glossy leaves and produces numerous berries.

Euonymus japomcus: Evergreen species, height to 3 m; narrow oval leaves to 7 cm long, bluntly serrated. Usually it is the variegated strains which are cultivated, eg ‘Albo-marginatus’, with white-edged foliage, or ‘Aureus’ in which the leaves have a yellow patch in the centre. Euonymus hamiltonianus var maacku syn Euonymus maackri: Height to 4 m; leaves oblong to spear-shaped, wedge-shaped at the base; numerous pink berries with orange seeds.

Euonymus pbellomanus: Height to 3 m; broad corky ridges along the branches. The leaves are oval, to 10 cm long, and finely serrated. Rose-pink berries, bright-red seeds.

Euonymus sachalinensis: Height to 3 m; spreading habit, leaves to 14 cm long, coming into growth very early; rose-pink berries and orange seeds.

Euonymus verrucosus: Height 3 m; the branches bear grey warts; blood-red berries, black seeds.

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