spindletree Celastraceae Euonymus
europaeus L. symbol: EUEU7
Leaf: Opposite, simple, elliptical, 2 1/2 to 4 inches long, finely serrated, long pointed, green above, paler and may be pubescent below.
Flower: Perfect, inconspicuous (1/3 inch across), 4 greenish-white petals with purple anthers, appearing in late spring in multiple branched clusters.
Fruit: 4-lobed capsule, 1/2 inch across, pink to purple in color, splits open to reveal dark red seeds, ripens in fall.
Twig: Slender, green turning brown with age, maybe 4-sided, leaf scars are light brown (nearly white) and obvious against green twig; buds are green and sharp pointed.
Bark: Thin, greenish-brown to reddish brown, shallow longitudinal splits; becoming irregularly shreddy-ridged with age.
Form: A large shrub or small tree that reaches 30 feet in height.
Looks like: winged euonymus - strawberry bush - eastern wahoo - wintercreeper
Additional Range Information: Euonymus europaeus is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and may seed into the landscape. See states reporting spindletree.
More Information: Fall Color
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson