Spindle tree is an European species of euonymus with attractive fall color and interesting seed capsules. Birds are attracted to the fruit and tend to spread them freely to the point this plant has become weedy and invasive in some areas.
This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.
All Common Names:
Tree or Plant Type:
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Mixed border,
- Small tree (15-25 feet),
- Compact tree (10-15 feet),
- Large shrub (more than 8 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Zone 4,
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Occasional drought,
- Alkaline soil
- Showy fruit
Season of Interest:
- Early fall
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
Size and Form
An upright narrow shrub or tree reaching 12 to 25 feet high and 10 to 20 feet wide becoming more rounded with age.
Tree & Plant Care
Requires well drained soil.
Birds easily spread the seeds; this plant is becoming invasive in some areas.
Disease, pests and problems
Native geographic location and habitat
Native to Europe and Asia.
Bark color and texture
Bark is gray; stems are green.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Simple, opposite leaves; oval with finely toothed edges; 1 to 3 inches long; dark green.
Fall color is variable, from yellow to reddish-purple.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Inconspicuous; yellow green flowers with four petals.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
This plant yields attractive, showy pink to reddish capsules that open to reveal orange seeds.
Cultivars and their differences