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Euonymus japonicus - Thunb.
Common Name Japanese Spindle Tree, Box-leaf Euonymus, Evergreen Euonymus, Japanese Euonymus
Family Celastraceae
USDA hardiness 6-9
Known Hazards The seed is probably poisonous, other parts of the plant may also be poisonous[65].
Habitats Slopes in thickets and woods, especially near the sea[58].
Range E. Asia - Japan. Locally naturalized in S. Europe.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Bloom Color: Green, White. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Late spring. Form: Oval, Upright or erect, Vase.

Euonymus japonicus Japanese Spindle Tree, Box-leaf Euonymus, Evergreen Euonymus, Japanese Euonymus

Euonymus japonicus Japanese Spindle Tree, Box-leaf Euonymus, Evergreen Euonymus, Japanese Euonymus
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of shrub
Euonymus japonicus is an evergreen Shrub growing to 4.5 m (14ft) by 2 m (6ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from May to June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.


Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Hedge;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses: Colouring.

Young leaves - boiled[2, 177, 183]. The old leaves are powdered and used to colour food[105, 177, 183]. These reports should be treated with some caution due to the report of toxicity - see above.
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antirheumatic;  Diuretic;  Tonic;  Women's complaints.

The stem bark is antirheumatic, diuretic and tonic[218]. The leaf is used in cases of difficult delivery[218].
Other Uses
Hedge;  Hedge;  Latex.

Roots and stems yield up to 7% gutta-percha, a non elastic rubber used as an electrical insulator and in making plastics etc[61, 74, 103]. Can be grown as a hedge, it is very tolerant of trimming and succeeds in severe maritime exposure[11, 75, 200].
Cultivation details
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Foundation, Hedge, Massing, Screen, Specimen, Woodland garden. Thriving in almost any soil, including chalk and sandy soils, it is particularly suited to dry shaded areas[200]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Shade tolerant but does not fruit well in such a position[11]. Prefers a well-drained loamy soil[11]. Plants are very tolerant of maritime exposure, succeeding even when grown on the sea shore[166], but they can be killed by cold drying winds[75, 184]. A very ornamental plant[1], there are a number of named varieties[184]. It is only hardy in S. England[11] tolerating temperatures down to about -10°c[184]. Plants are more likely to succumb to the cold if they are regularly trimmed (this exposes young growth to the cold), this regular trimming also leads to mildew especially when plants are growing in very dry ground[182]. The Japanese spindle tree is cultivated in Russia and Spain for the latex contained in the root. It is best grown in a dry soil and an open position when being grown for its latex[61, 74]. Plants are often slow to get established. Plants can be susceptible to attacks by caterpillars[182] and are often damaged during the flowering season[11]. They are also a host of the sugar beet fly[49]. This species is notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. Special Features: Not North American native, Naturalizing, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[121]. Stored seed requires 3 months cold stratification, so should be sown as early in the year as possible in a cold frame[113]. Seed can take 18 months to germinate[74]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 - 7cm long taken at a node or with a heel, July/August in a frame. Very easy[200]. Cuttings of mature wood, October in a frame78, 113]. Cuttings will root readily at any time of the year if given bottom heat[1]. Root cuttings in winter.

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Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Euonymus alatusWinged Spindle Tree, Burningbush, Corky spindletree12
Euonymus alatus apterusWinged Spindle Tree12
Euonymus americanusStrawberry Bush, Bursting-heart02
Euonymus atropurpureusWahoo- Indian Arrow Wood - Burning Bush, Eastern wahoo12
Euonymus crenulatus 01
Euonymus europaeusSpindle Tree, European spindletree12
Euonymus fimbriatus 00
Euonymus fortuneiWinter Creeper, Wintercreeper Euonymus01
Euonymus hamiltonianusHamilton's spindletree10
Euonymus hamiltonianus maackii 10
Euonymus hamiltonianus sieboldianus 10
Euonymus latifolius 00
Euonymus lucidus 01
Euonymus macropterus 10
Euonymus miyakei 10
Euonymus oxyphyllus 11
Euonymus sachalinensisEuonymus10
Euonymus tanakae 10
Euonymus thunbergianus 10
Euonymus tingens 01
Euonymus verrucosus 00
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Readers comment
Elizabeth H.
Bruno Sat Jan 9 2010
Have planted 3 Euonymus japonicus Aureomarginatus in my gardan on Vancouver island Canada. They were planted in late october using the suggeste methods. Now Jan 9th some of the leaves are turning brown and droping to the ground also someof the green and yellow leafs have also droped, Any one know why this is happening, the area is fairly sheltered and we do get very little sun in the winter months. Thanks for any info you have. Email me at schmb@telus.net. Thanks again B.....
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Subject : Euonymus japonicus  

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