Spindle Tree (Euonymus europaeus)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Spindle Tree
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General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Tree
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
Dry
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 7b
Plant Height: usually 12 to 15 feet, even to 30 feet
Plant Spread: usually 10 to 15 feet, even to 25 feet
Leaves: Good fall color
Unusual foliage color
Deciduous
Fruit: Showy
Fruiting Time: Late summer or early fall
Fall
Flowers: Inconspicuous
Flower Color: Green
White
Yellow
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Uses: Windbreak or Hedge
Wildlife Attractant: Birds
Propagation: Seeds: Stratify seeds: 10 weeks if you sow indoors
Days to germinate: can take up to 12 months
Depth to plant seed: cover the seeds thin
Suitable for wintersowing
Sow in situ
Start indoors
Can handle transplanting
Pollinators: Various insects
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil
Monoecious

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Comments:
Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Oct 11, 2018 9:30 AM

This upright large shrub or small tree is native to Europe and western Asia. Its dull dark green leaves get to about 3.5 inches long by a little over 1 inch wide and is early to leaf out in spring. The fall color is usually just yellow-green to dull yellow, but some can get a good yellow or reddish-purple. Its main ornamental feature is that it bears lots of 4-lobed red to pink capsules that open to expose orange seeds. I remember several plants around in a few spots in the Chicago, Illinois area in the 1980's and 1990's; but it is not common in the US or well-known. I don't think those shrubs or trees are still present anymore. It is sold by a few larger, diverse, conventional nurseries and cheap mail order nurseries in the Midwest and East US. (One cheap mail order nursery was selling it as the "Popcorn Plant.") It is susceptible to the Euonymus Scale insect, looking like little white shells, that can infest plants on all parts and kill them off. The orange seeds are eaten by some birds and allow it to self-sow around and to escape cultivation. I have not seen any wild plants myself, but there is an old report of some escaping at Morton Arboretum in northeast Illinois to become weedy. In eastern North America I would rather grow either the native Eastern Wahoo or the Brook Euonymus instead.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Banner for August 18, 2018 by sunnyvalley by sunnyvalley Aug 18, 2018 1:32 PM 2
Heisteria; Brazilian rainforest shrub or tree for ID by bonitin Aug 17, 2016 2:38 AM 12
What ID was decided? by Paul2032 Dec 2, 2011 7:56 PM 10

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