Gardening Magazine

Plant of the Week: Euonymus Alatus

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch

Euonymus alatus Flower (05/05/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Euonymus alatus Flower (05/05/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Late spring to early summer

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 2.5m

Eventual Spread: 3m

Hardiness: 4a – 9b

Family: Celastraceae

Euonymus alatus is a slow growing deciduous shrub. Its glossy dark green leaves are ovate to elliptic with finely serrated, margin, opposite , up to 7cm long and 4cm broad. In autumn the leaves turn brilliant red before falling. Its stems are notable for their four corky ridges or ‘wings’. Its green to white flowers are star shaped up to 5 mm in across. Its fruit is a red aril (a specialized outgrowth from the funiculus) enclosed by a four lobed pink, yellow or orange capsule. 

Euonymus alatus, commonly known as Burning Bush, Cork Bush, Winged Spindle and Winged Euonymus, is native to eastern Asia. This plant is an invasive species in eastern North America.

The etymology of the binomial name Euonymus is derived from the name ‘Euonyme’, the mother of the Furies in Greek mythology who were the infernal avenging goddesses of the underworld. Alatus is from the Latin for ‘winged’, in reference to the winged stems of the plant.

Euonymus alatus (05/05/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Euonymus alatus (05/05/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

The landscape architect may find Euonymus alatus useful as an attractive shrub, particularly in autumn when the leaves turn brilliant red. It may also be used as hedging plant particularly in shady locations. It is drought tolerant once established. It is tolerant of maritime conditions.

Ecologically, E. alatus is pollinated by insects including bees and flies.

The Royal Horticultural Society has given E. alatus their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

E. alatus prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil and will tolerate alkali soils.

Euonymus alatus requires little maintenance. It may be pruned hard in spring.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog