This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
Trees or shrubs, rarely subscandent. Leaves opposite, persistent or deciduous. About forty species are known, from India, China, Japan, Europe, and North America. Name from Evwvumos, literally, 'a good name,' but sometimes signifying the reverse. The application here seems uncertain. The deciduous species furnish nothing very ornamental, and are little cultivated. The indigenous E. Europaeus is very pretty in Autumn, when the pale scarlet fruit is ripe, especially after it is split open, revealing the orange-coloured aril of the seeds. The Japanese species are tender, but succeed well on the south and west coasts.
1. E. Japonicus. - A handsome evergreen shrub about 6 feet high with oval oblong lanceolate or elliptical crenate glabrous dark green somewhat coriaceous leaves. This has given birth to some of the most splendid variegated shrubs in cultivation. The diversity of variegation is almost as great here as in the Hollies, including yellow and white and tinges of red. The names of the varities sufficiently indicate the nature of the variegation: as, E. Japonicus folus aureo-marginatis, E. Jap. fol. albo-marginatis, E. Jap. latifdlius albus, E. Jap. latifol. aureus, etc.
2. E. radicans. - A small straggling decumbent shrub with oblong or orbicular finely serrated leaves about an inch long. The green-leaved variety does not appear to be in cultivation,, but there are some pretty variegated ones of recent introduction from Japan: E. rad. folus auveo-marginatis, E. rad. folus rdseo-marginatis, etc. By some botanists these forms are also considered as varieties of Japonicus.
The true E. latifolius is a deciduous Japanese species. E. atropurpureus, Burning Bush, is a small shrub with oblong acuminate finely toothed nearly glabrous membranous leaves, dark purple flowers, and scarlet smooth capsules: and E. Americanus has more coriaceous foliage variable in form, and scarlet prickly capsules. Both are North American.