All Common Names:
Tree or Plant Type:
- Ground cover,
- Evergreen (foliage year-round)
- Mixed border,
- Medium plant (12-24 inches),
- Small plant (6-12 inches),
- Low-growing plant (under 6 inches)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily),
- Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7,
- Zone 8
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Dry sites,
- Occasional drought,
- Alkaline soil
Season of Interest:
- Early winter,
- Mid winter,
- Late winter,
- Early spring,
- Mid spring,
- Late spring,
- Early summer,
- Mid summer,
- Late summer,
- Early fall,
- Mid fall,
- Late fall
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
Size and Method of Climbing (vine); method of spreading (ground cover)
6 to 12 inches high as a ground cover; up to 2 to 3 feet high as mounded shrubs; spreads 10 to 20 feet as a vine.
As a ground cover it is a trailing-rooting ground cover. Trailing-rooting ground covers have trailing stems that spread out from a central root system. These stems spread out horizontally over the ground and can root where they come in contact with the soil. New shoots will be formed at the point where rooting occurs.
As a vine, it is a clinging vine. Clinging vines attach themselves directly to a surface by means of holdfasts (adhesive discs) or by small aerial roots. This type of vine grows best on a flat surface, such as stone, masonry walls and wood.
Tree & Plant Care
Grows in full sun to dense shade. Tolerant of most soils except extremely wet.
This species has become invasive in some areas.
Disease, pests, and problems
Euonymus scale is a common and serious insect problem.
Crown gall (bacterium) , anthracnose, leaf spots, mildew, and aphids.
Native geographic location and habitat
Native to China.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Simple, opposite, evergreen leaves; oval shape with toothed margins; 1 inch long.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Inconspicuous and occurring only on adult forms.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Pinkish-red capsules that open to reveal seeds with an orange coating (aril).
Baby Wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei ‘Minimus’): 1 to 1½ feet high and 6 feet wide; leaves are smaller that those of the species (1/4 to 1/2 inch long).
Big-leaved wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei ‘Vegetus’): 2 to 4 feet high and up to 6 feet wide; creeping form with bright green leaves; very cold hardy but also very susceptible to scale.
Canadale Gold wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei ‘Canadale Gold’): Compact, irregular, mounded form with spreading stems; leaves are glossy green with golden-yellow margins.
Emerald Gaiety wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald Gaiety’): 3 to 4 high and 4 to 5 feet wide; dark green leaves with white margins; leaves take on a reddish tinge in winter.
Emerald ‘n’ Gold wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald ‘n’ Gold’): 3 to 4 feet high and 4 to 5 feet wide; bright green leaves with broad golden margins; leaf color is best in full sun; leaves take on a reddish tinge in winter.
Glossy wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei ‘Carrierei’): Can grow 6 to 8 feet high and wide; irregular, mounded form with spreading stems; deep green leaves and abundant, showy fruits are about 1/3” in diameter, with greenish-red covers that open up when ripe to expose yellow-orange seeds.
Gold Prince wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei ‘Gold Prince’): 3 feet high and wide; bright green young leaves variegated with bright golden tips, aging to solid green; very hardy cultivar.
Moonshadow little-leaved wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei ‘Moonshadow’): 2 to 3 feet high and 3 to 5 feet high; variegated leaves, glossy green margins and bright-yellow centers.
Purple leaved wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei ‘Coloratus’): 1 to 1½ feet high and 6 feet wide; leaves are glossy green (with purplish undersides), but turn purple in late autumn and winter.
Sarcoxie wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei ‘Sarcoxie’): 4 to 5 feet high and wide; dark green leaves with whitish veins.