Purple Wintercreeper Euonymus (Euonymus fortunei 'Coloratus')

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Purple Wintercreeper Euonymus
Give a thumbs up Wintercreeper
Give a thumbs up Wintercreeper Euonymus
Give a thumbs up Fortune’s Spindle
Give a thumbs up Winter Creeper

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Partial or Dappled Shade
Partial Shade to Full Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 4a -34.4 °C (-30 °F) to -31.7 °C (-25 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 9b
Plant Height: 6 to 9 inches to 18 inches (15-23cm); then can vine higher
Plant Spread: 1 to 3 feet (30-91cm), actually indefinite
Leaves: Evergreen
Fruit: Other: usually none
Flowers: Inconspicuous
Uses: Groundcover
Will Naturalize
Resistances: Pollution
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Stolons and runners
Pollinators: Various insects
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil

groundcover at hospital, not allowed to vine up

Photo gallery:

Posted by SongofJoy (Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Feb 3, 2012 5:11 AM

Winter Creeper Purple or Euonymus fortunei 'Coloratus' is a dense, woody-stemmed, broadleaf evergreen plant that comes in a variety of forms: trailing ground cover, a mounding shrub, or a climbing vine. Commonly called Purple Winter Creeper, it is primarily a trailing evergreen ground cover form which typically grows to 6 - 9 inches tall and spreads indefinitely by rooting stems.

Good for erosion control in the proper situations.

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Posted by OldGardener (So Cal - Zone 10b) on Apr 6, 2013 11:31 AM

This cultivar is growing rampantly in zone 10. Euonymus fortunei 'Colorata' is used for erosion control and is considered to be "fire-wise."

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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Dec 9, 2018 8:31 PM

This Purple Wintercreeper is normally planted to be a groundcover, but it can become as a vine and climb up trees, shrubs, walls, fences, and other structures. I remember it as both a groundcover and a vine on the walls of the library at Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL in the 1970's and 1980's, but it became infested with the white hard-shelled Euonymus Scale insect and the arboretum at least took away the huge amount of climbing vine on the building; they may have gotten rid of the whole plant mass. When I worked around a hospital in the 1990's, there was a large patch at the east entrance with some trees and shrubs in the planting area. I would prune away some vine from the woody plants every so often and on the brick building walls and along the cement curb in front of the area. I also would run an elevated lawnmower over the groundcover to keep it from getting too high and keep it neater. The lawnmower cutting helped the bacterial Crown Gall disease increase so that there were lots of brown, woody galls on many stems. The mass of the plant "felt" dirty to me. This cultivar of several clones, that were introduced from Japan in 1914 to the US, usually gets a red-purple fall and winter colour on both sides of the leaves and usually does not fruit. This groundcover is work to keep it from growing out of bounds. It has been commonly planted in the Chicago, IL area and other areas of the upper Midwest. I have seen it only a little in the Mid-Atlantic.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Vine/ivy ID by tinypiney Nov 30, 2019 4:45 PM 4
Is this Poison Ivy? by stape2000 May 17, 2018 9:51 AM 8
How to kill purple wintercreeper by tx_flower_child Oct 24, 2016 10:04 PM 0
Does anyone know what plant this is? by PeggyB Jun 11, 2016 1:52 PM 5
Planting Groundcovers - Bare Root Cuttings or Rooted Cutting Flats? by apo_lypse Sep 26, 2016 2:29 PM 1
Another unknown at new home by VickiW Aug 27, 2013 11:22 AM 7
Winter Creeper (Euonymus fortunei) by SongofJoy Feb 3, 2012 3:27 AM 11
Midwest Weather and everything else by kareoke Jan 21, 2020 8:51 AM 33,371

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