This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(ancient Greek name). Often spelled Euonymus. Celastraceae. Spindle-Tree. Woody plants, erect or climbing, grown chiefly for their handsome foliage and the attractive fruits.
Deciduous or evergreen shrubs or small trees with usually more or less 4-angled branches, mostly erect, rarely creeping or climbing by rootlets: winter-buds usually conspicuous with imbricate scales: leaves opposite, petioled, usually serrate, and mostly glabrous: flowers small, in axillary cymes, 4-5-merous, generally perfect; style and stamens short, the latter inserted on a disk: fruit a 3-5-lobed, somewhat fleshy caps., each dehiscent valve containing 1 or 2 seeds inclosed in a generally orange-colored aril; the seed itself is white, red or black. - About 120 species in the northern hemisphere, most of them in Cent, and E. Asia, extending to S. Asia and Austral.
The spindle-trees are of upright or sometimes procumbent or creeping habit, with rather inconspicuous greenish, whitish or purplish flowers in axillary cymes, very attractive in fall, with their handsome scarlet, pink or whitish, capsular fruits, showing the bright orange seeds when opening, and with the splendid fall coloring that most of the species assume, especially E. alata, E. Maackii, E. sanguinea, E. verrucosa, E.. europaea and E. atropurpurea. The wood is tough, close-grained and light-colored, often almost white, and used, especially in Europe, for the manufacture of small articles. The bark of E. atropurpurea has medical properties. - Most of the cultivated deciduous species, except those from Himalayas, are hardy North, while of the evergreen ones only E. radicans is fairly hardy, and, on account of its greater hardiness, is often used North as a substitute of the ivy for covering walls, rocks and trunks of trees, climbing if planted in good soil, to a height of 15 and sometimes 20 feet.
E. europaea, and South, the evergreen E.japonica are sometimes used for hedges.
The spindle-trees are not particular as to the soil and are well adapted for shrubberies. Propagation is by seeds which are usually stratified and sown in spring, or by cuttings of ripened wood in fall. The evergreen species grow readily from cuttings of half-ripened wood under glass in fall or during the winter in the greenhouse. Varieties are sometimes grafted or budded on stock of their typical species.
A. Foliage deciduous. Nos. 1-13. b. Caps, tuberculate, depressed-globose: flowers 5-merous.
Upright shrub, to 8 ft.: leaves ovate-lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate, usually acute at the base, acuminate, crenately serrate, 1 1/2-3 in. long: peduncle slender, few-fid.; flowers yellowish or reddish green: fruit pink. June; fruit Sept. - Oct. From S. N. Y. south, west to Texas. L.B.C. 14: 1322. B.B. (ed. 2) 2:491. variety angustifolia, Wood (E. angustifolia, Pursh). Leaves lanceolate or linear-lanceolate, half-evergreen S.
(E. americana variety obovata, Torr. & Gray). Fig. 1464. Procumbent shrub, with rooting stem and erect branches, to 1 ft.: leaves obovate or elliptic-obovate, crenately serrate, light green, 1-2 in. long: flowers purplish: caps, usually 3-celled. May; fruit Aug., Sept. From Canada to Ind. and Ky. G.F. 9:385 (adapted in Fig. 1464). - It may be used for covering the ground under large trees, or for borders of shrubberies. variety variegata, Hort., has the leaves marked pale yellow.
Fig. 1464. Evonymus obovata. (X 2/3)
bb. Caps, smooth: flowers generally 4-merous.
c. fruit divided to the base into 4 or less nearly separate pods.
(E. Thunbergiana, Blume. E. striata, Loes.). Spreading shrub, to 8 ft.: branches stiff, with 2-4 broad, corky wings: leaves elliptic or obovate, acute at both ends, sharply serrate, 1-2 in. long: flowers 1-3, short-peduncled, yellowish: caps, purplish, small; seeds brown with orange aril. May, June; fruit Sept., Oct. China, Japan. S.I.F. 1:63. F.E. 32:54. variety subtriflora, Franch. & Sav. Branches not winged: flowers 1-5. variety aperta, Loes. Aril open at the apex, disclosing the black seed. Cent. China. - This species is one of the handsomest; the leaves turn bright crimson in autumn, the small, but numerous fruits are brightly colored and in winter the shrub is conspicuous by its broadly winged branches.
cc. fruit more or less 8-5-lobed. d. Branches densely warty.
Erect shrub, to 6 ft.: leaves ovate-lanceolate, crenately serrulate, acuminate, 1-2 1/2 in. long: fl3. slender-peduncled, 1-3, brownish: caps.
dd. Branches smooth. E. Anthers yellow. f. The caps, with obtuse lobes.
Low shrub, to 2 ft., with slender, often arching or sometimes procumbent and rooting branches: leaves linear or linear-oblong, mucronulate, entire or remotely denticulate and revolute at the margins, 1/2-l 1/2in. long: flowers slender-peduncled, purplish: caps, deeply 4-lobed, pink; seed brown, not wholly covered by the orange aril. May, June; fruit Aug. W. Asia to W. China. - Handsome shrub for rockeries and rocky slopes; forming a graceful, pendulous, standard tree if grafted high on E. europaea. fruit ripens in Aug., earliest of all species. variety Koopmannii, Beissn. (E. Koopmannii, Lauche). Leaves larger and broader.