Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald Gaiety’

7 Mar

Euonymus fortunei 'Emerald Gaiety' Detail (27/02/2011, London)

Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald Gaiety’ Detail (27/02/2011, London)

Position: Full sun to shade

Soil: Moist, well drained

Flowering period: Early to mid summer

Eventual Height: 1m

Eventual Spread: 1.5m

Hardiness: 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b

Family: Celastraceae

Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald Gaiety’ is an evergreen shrub with a bushy habit that will climb any available support structure until it reaches maturity. When grown as a shrub this plant has a bushy habit similar to Euonymus japonicus. It has bright green, ovate-elliptic, serrate leaves that are lighter in the margins and tinged pink in the winter. Inflorescence is rare and inconspicuous when it appears, the flowers are small with four green petals followed by equally insignificant green pod like berries with four lobes that contain an orange flesh covered seed in each lobe.

Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald Gaiety’, commonly known as the Winter Creeper, is native to much of Asia including China India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Myanmar, The Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. If consumed this plant may cause stomach upset.

The etymological root of the binomial name Euonymus is said to be named after Euonyme, the mother of the Furies in Greek mythology or perhaps meaning of good fame or lucky or from the Greek eu ‘good’ and noma ‘name’. Fortunei  is after Robert Fortune, a 19th century Scottish horticulturist and collector in China who introduced many plants including Lonicera x purpusii and Skimmia japonica.

Euonymus fortunei 'Emerald Gaiety' (27/02/2011, London)

Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald Gaiety’ (27/02/2011, London)

Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald Gaiety’ can be useful to the landscape architect as a climber  to provided an evergreen back-foil to a planting bed or hide an unattractive wall. It will form an effective low growing dense evergreen, informal hedge. It is particularly useful in shady locations, providing bright evergreen foliage. Due to its tolerance of the salty coastal climate it is useful in the maritime environment. Once established is is drought tolerant.

Ecologically, Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald Gaiety’ is attractive to bees, butterflies and birds.

The Royal Horticultural Society has given Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald Gaiety’ their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald Gaiety’ prefers a light, well-drained soil. It will tolerate most pH of soils. It will tolerates heavy clay soils.

Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald Gaiety’ requires little maintenance. If necessary, it can be pruned back hard in May. If grown as a hedge it should be trimmed in May and again in early autumn.

Davis Landscape Architecture

 

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