Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Boxleaf Euonymus, Japanese Euonymus, Japanese Spindletree
Euonymus japonicus 'Microphyllus Aureovariegatus'

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

4 members have or want this plant for trade.


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

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Provides winter interest
Suitable for growing in containers

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

Click thumbnail
to view:

By philomel
Thumbnail #1 of Euonymus japonicus by philomel

By LarissaH
Thumbnail #2 of Euonymus japonicus by LarissaH

By WaterCan2
Thumbnail #3 of Euonymus japonicus by WaterCan2

By WaterCan2
Thumbnail #4 of Euonymus japonicus by WaterCan2

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Thumbnail #5 of Euonymus japonicus by WaterCan2


5 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive greatswede 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.

Positive Opoetree 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.

Positive LarissaH On Jan 23, 2007, LarissaH from Denton, TX (Zone 7b) 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?

Positive hanna1 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.

Positive philomel 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.


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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