Euonymus Species, Fortune's Spindle, Japanese Spindle Shrub, Winter Creeper

Euonymus fortunei

Family: Celastraceae
Genus: Euonymus (yoo-ON-ih-mus) (Info)
Species: fortunei (for-TOO-nee-eye) (Info)
Synonym:Euonymus hederacioides
Synonym:Euonymus kiautschovicus
Synonym:Euonymus patens




Vines and Climbers

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Grown for foliage


Good Fall Color

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:


Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Clifton, Colorado

Pueblo, Colorado

Ashton, Illinois

Coushatta, Louisiana

Arnold, Maryland

Lexington, Massachusetts

Roslindale, Massachusetts

South Saint Paul, Minnesota

Hernando, Mississippi

Mathiston, Mississippi

Springfield, Missouri

Manchester, New Hampshire

Brooklyn, New York

Croton On Hudson, New York

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Bucyrus, Ohio

Cincinnati, Ohio

Hilliard, Ohio

Hulbert, Oklahoma

Clarksville, Tennessee

Nashville, Tennessee

De Leon, Texas

South Jordan, Utah

Roanoke, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 16, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

I gave up planting this species before I realized its invasive potential, because I see so many plantings infested and disfigured or even killed by euonymus scale.

Once established, this species can be very difficult to get rid of.

It is naturalized in most of the eastern and central states. The US Forest Service, the National Park Service, the Nature Conservancy, and other organizations concerned with the preservation of natural areas in North America all have expressed concern about the invasive impact of this species on our environment.

It appears to be most destructive in Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, and neighboring states.

In Massachusetts, I often find seedlings when weeding. Birds distribute the seeds widely. Cutting bac... read more


On Aug 29, 2012, mygardens from Croton-on-Hudson, NY (Zone 6b) wrote:

This plant has been growing on our locust for about 20 years. I know it is invasive in some areas, but it is about 40 feet up the tree trunk and has not spread to other trees. I'm sure some birds may have carried seeds off, but I have not seen much of this in our area. I love the leaf against the texture of the locust trunk. I'm afraid I'll have to give it a positive as far as our experience goes.


On Mar 29, 2011, dsigngrrl from Springfield, MO wrote:

Absolutely horrible. It's climbing trees, covering bushes, nasty nasty business. I can't get rid of it, it's all over. Bad news, this guy.


On Feb 25, 2011, RosemaryK from Lexington, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

This plant was introduced to the US in 1907 as an ornamental groundcover. Although it does grow in heavy shade, it is almost impossible to remove and replace it.


On Aug 16, 2010, Silverdare from Cincinnati, OH wrote:

Do NOT plant this invasive vine. My neighborhood in eastern Cincinnati is OVERRUN with it. When I bought this house, the yard (mostly shade) was completely taken over by wintercreeper, which marches over and through fences and scaled up shrubs and tall trees. Thick (3"-4" diameter) ropes of it girdled tree trunks. It was a nightmare to eradicate - took me two summers of backbreaking labor. Because my neighbors are careless and/or lazy, they allow this invader to take over everything in their yards, and the berries fall into my yard, which means I have to be ever-vigilant to pull up any seedlings. Woods and forests are being choked to death with it. Local nurseries actually sell the stuff. I think it should be banned from sale. It's the kudzu of the southern Midwest.


On Apr 2, 2009, kman_blue from (Zone 6b) wrote:

A horrible invasive weed here in Eastern Kansas and much of the rest of the Eastern USA. It's completely smothering some woodlands here and will climb up, over, and kill just about anything with time. It's very difficult to get rid of too, because small root fragments left after pulling will push up more foliage and it's very resistant to some common herbicides.


On Jan 25, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

My Wintercreeper never grew as a shrub, but more of a groundcover (and boy, did it do that). It also does well in less than full sun.


On Sep 30, 2005, flowercrazy39 from Manchester, NH wrote:

I ended up getting rid of both of mine because the scales were just too much and were spreading to other plants. Since I've gotten rid of them, there's no sign of scales.


On Aug 6, 2002, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Easy to grow and prefers filtered sun. Tolerates deep shade. Can be used as a groundcover, and in some places, a lawn alternative.


On Aug 31, 2001, jody from MD &, VA (Zone 7b) wrote:

2-4' high as shrub. 8-15' as climber. Has numerous variegated forms, usually as bushy shrubs.