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EUONYMUS japonicus

Image of Euonymus japonicus

Mark A. Miller

Family

Celastraceae

Botanical Name

EUONYMUS japonicus

Plant Common Name

Japanese Euonymus

General Description

Popular in gardens since Victorian times, Japanese spindletree is a dense, oval to pyramidal, broadleaf evergreen native to eastern Asia. Somewhat slow growing, it eventually forms a large shrub or small tree. The lustrous leathery oval leaves look great year-round. Small yellow vinegar-scented flowers appear in late spring to early summer followed by rose-hued fruits that open to reveal orange-red seeds (arils). Most cultivated specimens bear little or no fruit. Many cultivars are grown, including numerous dwarf and variegated selections.

This relatively cold-tender shrub tolerates a wide range of growing environments including clay and acid soils, full sun to full shade, and salt spray. In dry shady sites it is prone to mildew. It is amenable to heavy pruning and can be easily shaped for hedges and foundation plantings. It is also ideal for screening, for coastal gardens, or as a specimen. Use it in containers in areas with severe winters. Older specimens can be pruned to expose their curved trunks and arching branches. This species is considered invasive in some regions including New Zealand.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    6 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20

  • Plant Type

    Broadleaf Evergreen

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade, Full Shade

  • Height

    3'-15' / 0.9m - 4.6m (8)

  • Width

    3'-12' / 0.9m - 3.7m (6)

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer

  • Native To

    Eastern Asia, China, Japan, Korea

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Pollution, Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Light Yellow, Yellow Green

  • Fruit Color

    Light Pink, Rose, Orange Red

  • Fruit Color Modifier

    Bicolor

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Sandy Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Corky

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Foundation, Hedges, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes