Euonymus trees and shrubs are popular for their year-round bounty of features, including unusual colourful fruit clusters which split open to reveal bright seeds. Other popular qualities are stunning autumn coloured foliage and some varieties featuring curious corky wings along their branches.
Euonymus is a large genus that is great for everyone from first-time gardeners to those after something more unusual. Typically growing as compact bushes (e.g. Euonymus 'Miss Pinkie') or small shrubby trees (e.g. Euonymus europaeus 'Red Cascade'), they are suited to small gardens or as part of a border in a larger planting scheme.
There are evergreen varieties, but it is the deciduous Euonymus (sometimes referred to as Spindleberry) that are particularly spectacular in autumn and winter. All the deciduous varieties we offer have fantastic decorative fruit clusters that emerge in autumn, with the pods splitting open to reveal vibrantly coloured seeds in winter. The seed pods often adorn the tree through most of the winter, with the flesh covered seeds being popular with birds who feast on them.
The autumn and winter interest doesn't end there. Deciduous varieties have brightly coloured autumnal foliage, with Euonymus alatus being notably outstanding and referred to as Burning Bush due to the bright red autumn colour. Many deciduous varieties also have unusual corky wings on the branches (e.g. Euonymus phellomanus) that are most visible in winter when the leaves have fallen.
Euonymus cope admirably with a range of soil types (sand, chalk, clay etc) and growing conditions, even tolerating some wind exposure. It is a low maintenance species that does not require regular pruning. During the dormant season, simply remove any damaged, diseased or overcrowded branches.
The Euonymus genus contains around 130 species and whilst many of these are native to parts of Asia, Euonymus europaea is native to the UK. We offer an improved form called Euonymus europaeus 'Red Cascade' which has an abundance of features and is popular with wildlife.
There are many common names for Euonymus, including Spindle Tree, Winged Spindle tree, Corktree and Burning Bush. The name "Spindle Tree" comes from the light, yet hard wood being ideal for making wool spinning spindles. The names “Winged” and “Corktree” are so called because of the wings present on some varieties that develop from the cork cambium, although the reason why these are present is more of a mystery. Despite the names, some varieties are actually bushes and the name "Burning Bush" simply refers to the dramatic autumn foliage colour of deciduous varieties.