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Spindletree Euonymus

Phonetic Spelling
yoo-ON-ih-mus
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Euonymus, or Spindletree, is a genus of deciduous or evergreen flowering shrubs containing about 140 species and several cultivars. Native to East Asia, species are widely distributed in Canada and the continental United State. In nature, it is often found in mixed deciduous forests or natural areas in low woodlands. The name comes from the Greek eu-, for good, and onyma, for name, that was apparently applied ironically because the genus, at one time, had the bad reputation of poisoning cattle.

The shrub can be grown in a wide variety of soils, including clay, and tolerates both drought and wet soils to a degree. Fruits and seeds are eaten by birds and small mammals. Plant in a woodland naturalized area for best results. 

The plant has opposite and simple leaves. On some species, the leaves provide dramatic red color in the fall and early winter and the plant is often grown as an ornamental. The flowers are small, 4-parted, and often greenish maroon in color. The flowers are followed in the fall by a reddish, pink, ivory to yellow capsule which splits to reveal orange-red seeds. The genus can spread by adventitious roots and can get out of control. Note that some species of Euonymus (E. alatus in particular) are prohibited in some of the United States because of their invasive tendencies.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: 

It can be weedy in disturbed areas around houses and buildings.  Some species are invasive in parts of the US.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
E. alatus, E. americanus, E. bungeanus, E. europaeus, E. fortunei, E. japonicus, E. klautschovicus
Tags:
#deciduous#drought tolerant#weedy#deciduous shrub#showy leaves#fall interest#NC native#evergreen shrub#clay soils tolerant#toxic to humans#food source birds
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
E. alatus, E. americanus, E. bungeanus, E. europaeus, E. fortunei, E. japonicus, E. klautschovicus
Tags:
#deciduous#drought tolerant#weedy#deciduous shrub#showy leaves#fall interest#NC native#evergreen shrub#clay soils tolerant#toxic to humans#food source birds
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Euonymus
    Family:
    Celastraceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Wood was once used for making spindles for wool; hence the common name.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    East Asia
    Distribution:
    North America, Mexico, West Indies, Central America, Europe, Southeast Asia and Africa.
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Foliage sometimes eaten by deer. Seeds are eaten by birds.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Cover/Habitat
    Wildlife Food Source
    Edibility:
    Many parts of the plant are toxic to humans.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 4 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 4 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Poisonous
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Deciduous
    Semi-evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Climbing
    Erect
    Multi-stemmed
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Pink
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Capsule
    Drupe
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Reddish, pink, ivory to yellow capsule that splits to show orange-red seeds. Fruit can be a capsule or a berry or drupe, sometimes winged.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Solitary
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Saucer
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Small terminal or axillary, cymes in white, red, yellow, green, or purple. Small, 4-parted, greenish maroon flowers. Disk usually present. Three to 6 sepals (3–)4–5(–6), free or united at the base, and persistent. Two to six stamens opposite the sepals, free or with filaments partly united, inserted outside, on or inside disk.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Deciduous
    Semi-evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Oblong
    Leaf Margin:
    Crenulate
    Dentate
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Depending on species, leaves can be 1/2 to 6 inches long. Leaves alternate to subopposite or opposite, sometimes clustered on short shoots, simple, usually with small stipules. Blade margins entire or toothed; venation pinnate.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Green
    Bark Description:
    Bark tends to darken with age.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Angular
    Stem Form:
    Zig Zags
    Stem Description:
    Branches are terete or 4-angled.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Asian Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Hedge
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Black Walnut
    Drought
    Fire
    Problems:
    Weedy
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Toxic only if eaten in large quantities. Can cause vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, chills, coma, and convulsions.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Unidentified, possibly a glycoside
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Bark
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Roots
    Sap/Juice
    Seeds
    Stems