Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: European Euonymus, European Spindle Tree
Euonymus europaeus

Family: Celastraceae
Genus: Euonymus (yoo-ON-ih-mus) (Info)
Species: europaeus (yoo-ROH-pay-us) (Info)

Synonym:Euonymus europaea

6 members have or want this plant for trade.


Unknown - Tell us

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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3 positives
1 neutral
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive ho675191 On Jan 13, 2014, ho675191 from Sioux City, IA wrote:

It also grows well in Sioux City, Iowa, zone 4B. I have had a hedge barrier between us and a neighbor for over 35 years, some over 20 ft. tall. I just last fall trimmed a lot of dead wood, the result I think from a 2 year drought. Even in normal rainfall times, don't expect to grow much underneath them as the roots are very shallow and soak up the water like a sponge. I have pollardized 3 others in separate locations into tight balls. You can if so inclined and equipped, turn interesting items from the wood as it has wild grain patterns in the heart wood of streaky brown. I just tonight turned a sort of ornament, but don't know how to import a pix of it from my I Photo file to this forum.

Negative pussyfoot2 On Jul 25, 2013, pussyfoot2 from Cottonwood Heights, UT (Zone 5b) wrote:

So invasive. I've spent full time most of last summer, and most of this summer trying to get rid of the seedlings, suckers and roots out of my yard and away from my other plants. I am not done yet. It can act vinelike and when young can look similar to my myrtle that it has invaded and is trying to kill. It has pushed my snowball tree out of its place by over five feet. It has invaded my quince, and my beauty bushes and my lilac trees, nearly killing my one of my lilac tree. It used to be 10 feet and now is only about 3 feet.

Pretty pink seed pods with yellow and orange seeds. Very fertile, the seeds will germinate on their own. Know that birds enjoy this tree, so they spread its seeds too. If you are a vigilant gardener that can keep it under control, great. Hope you don't get sick, or that you can get someone to take over that chore for you. If you can manage it, then I would say its grows very easy. Don't put it next to a pool though, due to the pods and seeds. Also don't put it next to your house because the wood is weak and it will break in the wind. Don't let kids climb it either.

Positive seonaidh On Jun 2, 2013, seonaidh from Dublin
Ireland wrote:

The Spindle (or Burning-bush) or Feorus is a sacred tree in Ireland and forms a letter in Ogham, Oir meaning 'golden'. The Four winds stole a kiss from the god of love and youth, Angus Og, which turned into four swans that dispersed and whispered words of love to people. Once they called incessantly to king Cairpre, the only thing which could contain their power was the Spindle tree, which no other tree could do. To this day it is sacred to a Celtic goddess, Liffey

Positive barnegat On Feb 3, 2004, barnegat from Wellesley, MA wrote:

Its lemon yellow leaves in the fall look great with the bright pink berries. Grows like crazy in the acidic soil of eastern MA.

Neutral philomel On Nov 1, 2002, philomel from Castelnau RB Pyrenes
France (Zone 8a) wrote:

Also known as 'Spindle' or 'Spindleberry' (as the wood was used to make these essential items) this shrub brightens up the hedgerows in the countryside around me in SE UK in the autumn with its shocking pink berries that split to reveal the bright orange seeds inside.
The leaves also put on a good colour show at this time of year.
In the UK it makes a good addition to a 'native mixed hedge'. Some people say it is a martyr to blackfly, but mine has not had any problems (so far - c7years)

It particularly enjoys calcareous soil, though i believe it will also grow on a range of soils provided they are not too acidic.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Clovis, California
San Anselmo, California
Boulder, Colorado
Wellesley, Massachusetts
Fairport, New York
Cottage Grove, Oregon
Salt Lake City, Utah
Lakewood, Washington
South Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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