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 their 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. Euonymus cope admirably with a range of soil types (sand, chalk, clay etc) and growing conditions, even tolerating some wind exposure. You can choose from compact bushes (e.g. Euonymus ‘Miss Pinkie’) to small trees (e.g. Euonymus europaeus ‘Red Cascade’) depending on the planting space available. It is a low maintenance species that does not require regular pruning. During the dormant season, simply remove any damaged, diseased or overcrowded branches.
There are evergreen varieties, but it is actually the deciduous Euonymus that are particularly spectacular in autumn and winter. Deciduous varieties have brightly coloured autumnal foliage, with Euonymus alatus being notably outstanding. Many deciduous varieties also have unusual corky wings on the branches that are most visible in winter when the leaves have fallen.
The autumn and winter interest doesn't end there. 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 Euonymus genus contains around 130 species and whilst many of these are native to parts of Asia, Euonymus europaea is native to the UK.
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.