Euonymus europaeus

24 Oct

Euonymus europaeus leaf (15/10/2011, London)

Euonymus europaeus leaf (15/10/2011, London)

Position: Full sun to dappled shade

Flowering period: Spring to early summer

Soil: Well drained

Eventual Height: 6m

Eventual Spread: 4m

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

Family: Celastraceae

Euonymus europaeus Flower (05/05/2012, Kew, London)

Euonymus europaeus Flower (05/05/2012, Kew, London)

Euonymus europaeus is a deciduous shrub or small tree with a bushy habit. Its mid green leaves are opposite, lanceolate to elliptical with finely serrated edges, up to to 8cm long and 3cm broad. Its leaves turn yellow and bright red in autumn. The green stem of this plant will grow up to 20cm in diameter. Its hermaphrodite yellow/ green flowers are inconspicuous and appear in cymes of up to 8. The capsular fruit ripens in autumn, and is red to purple or pink in colour and up to 15mm across. When ripe the four lobes split open to reveal the orange seeds. In order for this plant to bear fruit at least two need to be planted close together, these need to be of different genetic stock (i.e. not clones of the same parent).

Euonymus europaeus Spring (05/05/2012, Kew, London)

Euonymus europaeus Spring (05/05/2012, Kew, London)

Euonymus europaeus, commonly known as Spindle, European Spindle and Common Spindle, is native to much of Europe, including the UK. The Spindle is often found as part of a hedge row and in copses openings. The seeds and other parts of the plant are quite poisonous. William Turner is known as the Father of Botany and he gave the name spindle tree to this plant because he said he cannot find an English name for it so the Dutch name, Spilboome, may as well be used.

The etymological root of the binomial name for Euonymus is derived from the Greek eu meaning ‘good’ and onoma, the name given by the ancient Greeks for the Euonymus genus. Europaeus is derived from the Greek meaning ‘of Europe’. 

Euonymus europaeus (15/10/2011, London)

Euonymus europaeus (15/10/2011, London)

The landscape architect may use Euonymus europaeus as part of a native woodland planting scheme, it will form part of the initial canopy, eventually becoming part of the understory planting, thriving at the edges and copse openings. It may also be specified as part of a native hedge mix.

Ecologically the flowers of Euonymus europaeus are attractive to bees and flies, the seeds are attractive to some bird and the leaves are the food of the Holly Blue Butterfly.

Euonymus europaeus thrives nutrient rich, well-drained chalky soils. It will tolerate most pH of soil.

Euonymus europaeus requires little maintenance. When maintained as part of a hedge it will be cut once or twice a year.

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One Response to “Euonymus europaeus”

  1. Paul Pietsch 19/07/2012 at 02:13 #

    Hi As usual like all other books nothing abour whether it self or has to be cross-pollinated.
    pjpietsch@yahoo.ca

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