categoryZShrubs Shrubs List 
categoryZBroadleaf Broadleaf List 
categoryZEvergreen Evergreen List 

EVERGREEN SPINDLE

JAPANESE SPINDLE

Euonymus japonica

Spindle Family [Celastraceae]

Flowers:
month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug

Berries: berryZpossible     berryZpink + berryZorange  (toxic, pink case, red berry-like seed)
berry8Jan berry8Feb berry8Mar berry8March berry8Nov berry8Dec

category
category8Shrubs
category
category8Broadleaf
category
category8Evergreen
status
statusZneophyte
flower
flower8green
flower
flower8cream
inner
inner8cream
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ4
stem
stem8round
toxicity
toxicityZmedium

8th July 2017, park garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast Photo: © RWD
Often planted near the sea especially in the south of England, but here half-way up north in a park near the sea on the west coast. A shrub/tree growing to 5m high, sometimes up to 8m. This one has been hacked back a bit especially on the footpath side.


8th July 2017, park garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast Photo: © RWD
Unlike Spindle it has leaves which are glossy-green (on the upperside; matte on the underside). This one flowering profusely; the red and white fruits will probably follow in September or October.


8th July 2017, park garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast Photo: © RWD
Leaves from 2cm to 7cm long, lanceolate.


8th July 2017, park garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast Photo: © RWD
Some similarities to Spurge-Laurel, see below.


8th July 2017, park garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast Photo: © RWD
Leaves, which are leathery, have teeth which look convex, but they also have tiny forward-pointing tiny black projections. There are 4 pale-green half-round petals/sepals. Some flowers are bisexual with both anthers and style,


8th July 2017, park garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast Photo: © RWD
Near the end of a flowering stalk several branches of triplet bunches branch off. Leaves in opposite pairs.


8th July 2017, park garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast Photo: © RWD


8th July 2017, park garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast Photo: © RWD
Flowers in small bunches on inversely-tapering petioles, particularly the lone central ones between a bifurcating branch.


8th July 2017, park garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast Photo: © RWD


8th July 2017, park garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast Photo: © RWD
A view from above of the flowers and as-yet unopened buds of a single trifurcating triplet.


8th July 2017, park garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast Photo: © RWD
On the edges of the thick leathery leaves are tiny black forwardly-directed points on each crenate tooth (left) [perhaps these are hydathodes to rid the leaf of excess water/salt]. Flowers with square symmetry, hemispherical pale-green sepals with stamens with cream/white anthers between them.


8th July 2017, park garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast Photo: © RWD
The filaments of the stamens emerge from a green square with a green, 8-fluted cone atop of which is an elongating green style. Clive Stace says that each flower has 4 petals and 4 sepals, but your Author can only discern 4 of one or the other; he doesn't know about you the reader... But strangely, the un-opened flower buds have 2 inner ones being slightly over-lapped by 2 outer ones and something in the top centre.


8th July 2017, park garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast Photo: © RWD
This flower was blushing somewhat. Flowers are a small 5mm across.


8th July 2017, park garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast Photo: © RWD
The lower flower-buds grew from much longer structural branches but their flowers had still not opened whereas most flowers higher up had at least 3 open flowers on each trigonometric structure.




Later, in August

But after 2 more years of Global Anthropomorphic Warming, the petals get longer, most no longer round.

4th Aug 2019, a garden, Walkden, Greater Manchester. Photo: © RWD
The flowers were very busy with lots of flying visiting insects, getting in the way of every photograph.


4th Aug 2019, a garden, Walkden, Greater Manchester. Photo: © RWD
But there's always one who lags behind everyone else (bottom flower with still round petals). The stamens have lost their anthers on the more advanced flowers.


4th Aug 2019, a garden, Walkden, Greater Manchester. Photo: © RWD
And some of these specimens they have also lost more or all of their 4 petals. The flowers are in a small number of pairs(2 pairs here) along the flowering stems, with an extra terminal flower at the end.


4th Aug 2019, a garden, Walkden, Greater Manchester. Photo: © RWD
The ovary here is growing with the style still in the centre. The petals may develop purplish or reddish marks in the centre.


4th Aug 2019, a garden, Walkden, Greater Manchester. Photo: © RWD
The sepal cups are very shallow. The flower petiole tapers thinner the further away from the flower. The antherless stamens here are reflexed slightly. Ovary still developing with long green style in centre atop. The flowers, if they appear, will be similar in appearance to those of Spindle: 4 orange-coated fruits within 4 quartered hemispherical 'shells' (but these are muddy red rather than reddish-pink of those on Spindle.


4th Aug 2019, a garden, Walkden, Greater Manchester. Photo: © RWD
The back of the leaves tapers gradually into the leaf stalk. There are hydathodes on the leaves' teeth.


4th Aug 2019, a garden, Walkden, Greater Manchester. Photo: © RWD
Another view of the hydathodes nestling at the end of each leaf tooth.




Later still, in December

9th Dec 2019, a garden, Walkden, Greater Manchester. Photo: © RWD
Later still. The berries have developed, but most not yet open.


9th Dec 2019, a garden, Walkden, Greater Manchester. Photo: © RWD
Pale green at first the fruits redden later, a bit like Apples do.


9th Dec 2019, a garden, Walkden, Greater Manchester. Photo: © RWD
Your Author is not sure what the pale-green 'cones' are which nestle at the base of the leaf stems, maybe more leaves developing?


9th Dec 2019, a garden, Walkden, Greater Manchester. Photo: © RWD
One of the 4 (or 5) scarlet-red arils just poking out from the pinkish-red outer 'shell' which is split into 4 (or 5) segments. The remains of the single stigmas sit at the summit.


9th Dec 2019, a garden, Walkden, Greater Manchester. Photo: © RWD
The scarlet-red arils contain 1 (sometimes 2) seeds. Evergreen Spindle doesn't usually bear seed in the UK, apart from since maybe 2005, when global warming in the UK started to take an ever-increasing grip. It is even flowering and seeding in Walkden, which is miles from being near the sea where the air is usually 2 to 3C warmer than it is inland in Winter - a time of year when it 'wants' to bear fruit.


9th Dec 2019, a garden, Walkden, Greater Manchester. Photo: © RWD
The split pink 'shell' here displays 4 scarlet-red arils containing the seed(s). Like other Spindles, the 'pods' and arils are gaudy with clashing colours: pink and scarlet. They will open more a bit later. Your Author is looking out for the whole shrub to display this gaudy spectacle.


Many similarities to : Spindle (Euonymus europaeus) but this has thinner leaves which are deciduous and have obvious veins and less conspicuous flowers which have 4 very narrow sepals/petals. Also, the fruits are orange with a red covering (as opposed to white with a red covering).

Slight resemblance to : Spurge-Laurel (Daphne laureola) but that is much shorter, has longer leaves which are entire (without teeth), and although the flowers are also small with 4 'petals' (actually sepals) and coloured a similar cream, those of Spurge Laurel have a long thin trumpet-like tube at the rear and are in tight bunches tucked below many leaves.

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature :

The trees are variously a mixture of bisexual, dioecious or hypogynous. There are many cultivars which are planted; many with either yellow or variegated leaves. Your Author does not know if this specimen is an unvariegated non-yellow cultivar, or the real McKay.

It produces a berry-like seed which is in a pink 'shell' and is red inside.


  Euonymus japonicus  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Celastraceae  

Distribution
 family8Spindle family8Celastraceae
 BSBI maps
genus8Euonymus
Euonymus
(Spindle)

EVERGREEN SPINDLE

JAPANESE SPINDLE

Euonymus japonicus

Spindle Family [Celastraceae]