Gardening Magazine

Plant of the Week: Euonymus Fortunei ‘Emarald ‘n’ Gold’

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch
Euonymus fortunei ‘Emarald 'n' Gold’ detail (01/11/2011, London)

Euonymus fortunei ‘Emarald 'n' Gold’ detail (01/11/2011, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Summer

Soil: Well drained

Eventual Height: 0.5 m

Eventual Spread: 1m

Hardiness: USDA Zones 4a – 9b

Family: Celastraceae

Euonymus fortunei ‘Emarald ‘n’ Gold’ is an evergreen shrub with a bushy growth habit. It’s foliage is  with a leathery texture. The variegated leaves are dark green with bright yellow margins and may take on pink tones in winter.  They are arranged in opposite pairs and are elliptic to ovate with a finely serrated margin. The stems of this plant may form clinging tendrils which enable it to climb structures. The flowers are inconspicuous and are 5 mm in diameter with 4 small pale green petals. The fruit of the plant is pale pink, which is a green pod like berry, which splits open to reveal fleshy coated seeds, one seed in each lobe. 

Euonymus fortunei ‘Emarald ‘n’ Gold’, commonly known as Winter creeper and, is native to east Asia. It is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant. This plant has an ability to tolerate a variety of environmental conditions including poor soils and heavy shades. Euonymus fortunei is considered an invasive species in some parts of eastern United States and Canada. They variegation of the leaves will be enhanced if placed in a sunny position.

The etymology of the binomial name Euonymus is derived form the Greek eu ’good’ and onoma ’name’. Fortunei is derived from the name of Robert Fortune, the Scottish botanist and traveller best known for introducing tea plants from China to India, back in the 19th century. 

Euonymus fortunei ‘Emarald 'n' Gold’ (01/11/2011, London)

Euonymus fortunei ‘Emarald 'n' Gold’ (01/11/2011, London)

The landscape architect may find Euonymus fortunei ‘Emarald ‘n’ Gold’ useful as an evergreen low ground-cover, particularly in shady, dry locations. It will tolerate urban pollution and a maritime environment.

Ecologically, this plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and birds.

Euonymus fortunei ‘Emarald ‘n’ Gold’ was awarded the prestigious Royal Horticultural Societies annual Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

E. fortunei ‘Emarald ‘n’ Gold’  can tolerate most soils, and is highly adaptable to both dry and moist locations. It will tolerate all pH of soil.

Maintenance: This plant requires little maintenance. Prune when only required and remove green stems which have reverted back to the base. 

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