Boxleaf Euonymus, Japanese Euonymus, Japanese Spindletree 'Microphyllus Aureovariegatus'

Euonymus japonicus

Family: Celastraceae
Genus: Euonymus (yoo-ON-ih-mus) (Info)
Species: japonicus (juh-PON-ih-kus) (Info)
Cultivar: Microphyllus Aureovariegatus




Foliage Color:



Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


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)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Pale Pink

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer


Grown for foliage




Provides winter interest

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From hardwood cuttings

From hardwood heel cuttings

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


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

Castro Valley, California

Martinez, California

Oak View, California

West Point, Mississippi

Hulbert, Oklahoma

Newalla, Oklahoma

College Station, Texas

Denton, Texas

Falling Waters, West Virginia

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 18, 2008, greatswede from Lincoln, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

I'm confused about the identification of this plant. In Sunset Western Garden Book and elsewhere on the Internet, Microphyllus seems to refer to the compact shrub that grows only 2 to 3 foot tall. I believe that is what i have. It's about two years old and is only 18 inches tall. I think that it is the Microphyllus Variegatus. It is doing well in full sun and growing in compacted clay soil. I only wish that it would grow 6 feet tall or more.


On May 24, 2007, Opoetree from Oak View, CA wrote:

We had this plant growing in Ventura, California...and when we moved we bought one to put in front of our house near the driveway (it also hides a telephone pole stabilizing wire). It has grown quite a bit in 20 years...I'm sure it's at least 8 feet tall. We have a range of weather patterns from drought to below freezing to 110 degrees in the summer...and this plant can take it all. It has never appeared to be fazed by any kind of weather, but puts out those bright yellow leaves with constant energy and is quite lush and really rather an unexpected beauty to behold.


On Jan 23, 2007, LarissaH from Garland, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Very easy to care for. Grows slowly, the yellow coloring is spectacular and cheerful. Mine is growing perfectly content in near total shade (north side of house, may get 2-3 hours of dappled sunlight a day).

Remove stems with no variegation (solid green) to keep the color coming. I prefer not to shape it, just let it grow with natural spikes. If you insist on trimming/hedging, you may cut away the variegation, then what's the point?


On Nov 17, 2004, hanna1 from Castro Valley, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Ours is bordering a flower bed and walkway, easy to take care of slow growing, We keep it compact.


On Nov 9, 2004, philomel from Castelnau RB Pyrenes
France (Zone 8a) wrote:

A lovely plant to brighten up a dull area in dry shade. It is suitable for hedging. The small leaves will not look odd after clipping as some of the larger leaved varieties do.
It is also suitable to grow in sunnier spots and can only add charm and colour to its surroundings.
If kept well trimmed it can also be used on a container - very handy for providing winter cheer.