Native to China, Korea, and Japan, Euonymus fortunei is a woody evergreen or semi-evergreen  member of the bitterseet family, Celastraceae, that also includes crucifiction thorn.  The species  can be grown as a ground cover, mounding shrub, or vine but the cultivar ‘Coloratus’ tends to be a trailing ground cover 6-9″ tall until it comes in contact with a vertical surface and then it acts as a vine and begins to climb up to about 20′.  The ovate to elliptical leaves are up to 2″ long  and shiny dark green until fall they they turn reddish purple.  Somtimes plants produce small inconspicuous greenish-white flowers in early summer, most often when growing on a vertical surface.  Plants tend to spread by forming roots from trialing stems as they creep along the ground surface.  Plants can be used to control erosion and are vaued for covering a wall, fence or other structure.  The genus name, Euonymus, is the Latin word meaning, of good name, referring to the poisonous nature of the plant to animals (sic)The specific epithet, fortunei, honors Robert Fortune (1812-1880) Scottish horticulturist and plant collector in China.

Type: Evergreen shrub or  woody vine

Outstanding Feature: Foliage color; wide tolerance of light and soil conditions

Growth Rate: Rapid

Bloom: Sparse, inconspicuous greenish-white flowers in early summer

Size: 6-9″ H or 20′ as vine

Light: Full sun to partial shade

Soil: Average, medium moist, well-drained; drought tolerant

Hardiness: Zones 3-9

Care: Low maintenance

Pests and Diseases:  Anthracnose, crown gall, leaf spot, mildew, scale, aphids

Propagation: Stem cuttings, seed

Photo Credit:

By Karen