Japanese Spindle-tree (Euonymus japonicus)

Plantae>Magnoliophyta>Magnoliopsida>Celastrales>Celastraceae>Euonymus japonicus Thunberg

Japanese Spindle-tree (Euonymus japonicus)

Japanese Spindle-tree is a commonly planted exotic large shrub or small tree that occasionally escapes in the Coastal Plain of North Carolina, especially on barrier islands. The waxy leaves make Japanese Spindle-tree look like a plastic plant. Some cultivars may be chartreuse (as here) or variegated. The most similar species is the exotic invasive groundcover/vine Wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei).

This, along with Japanese Holly, is one of the more common boring ball-shaped evergreen bushes used as house foundation plantings.

Planted specimen, Durham, NC 5/31/10.

Japanese Spindle-tree (Euonymus japonicus)

Young stems are bright green, like other Euonymus species.

Planted specimen, Durham, NC 5/31/10.

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All photographs and text ©2010 by Will Cook unless otherwise indicated.