Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Euonymus europaeus - European Spindle Tree


General Information
Common Name Spindle Tree
Scientific Name Euonymus europaeus
Sun Tolerance Full Sun
Height  2.5-3 m (8-10 ft)
Spread 2.5-3 m (8-10 ft)
Growth Rate Moderate
Bloom Time late Spring, Early Summer
Color Green
Flower Color Green, Greenish White 
Type Shrub
Native Europe, western Asia
Classification
Kingdom Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
SuperdivisionSpermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass Rosidae
Order Celastrales
Family Celastraceae – Bittersweet family
Genus Euonymus L. – spindletree
Species E. europaeus

Euonymus europaeus - European Spindle Tree
Euonymus europaeus commonly known as Spindle Tree is native to Europe and Western Asia. This is small but interesting and appears as a shrubs particularly on the chalk downs and locally on lime-rich soils. It is scarcely noticed before autumn, when the displays of its pretty fuchsia-pink seed-pods are conspicuous, accompanied by a delightful show of leaf color, the green leaves changing to russet-red hues before they fall.
The young twigs are green (in autumn a conspicuous component of an otherwise brown hedgerow) and after the first year are four-angled, later developing pale brown cork ribs along the angles of the square, eventually they grow quite round. The winter buds are in opposite pairs. The leaves very from oval to lance-shaped, with a finely toothed margin and a pointed tip. From a shining blue-mid-green (paler on the under-side) they fade in autumn to yellow, russet and crimson.

Euonymus europaeus - Spindle Tree
The small greenish-white flowers are borne in June in loose cluster in the leaf axils. The trees are often either male or female thought flowers including both sexes do occur on the same tree. The female flower produces a four-lobed seed-pod which is pale green at first, but changes to a vivid pink by October. Within a month or two the seed-pod  splist open to expose the four bright orange pulpy coats ( and aril) which each enclose a hard white seed within a pink seed-coat. The seeds are poisonous.
The bark is smooth, greenish at first, later becoming grey to pale brown. The hardness, smoothness and toughness of the whitish wood led to its early use for the spindles used for spinning wool by hand – explaining the tree’s name. The wood also yields a fine charcoal for artists’ use.
Spindle Tree is unpopular with farmers because it is an alternative host to the bean-fly. 



Euonymus europaeus - European Spindle Tree: Leaves

Euonymus europaeus - European Spindle Tree

Euonymus europaeus - European Spindle Tree : Flowers

Euonymus europaeus - European Spindle Tree

Euonymus europaeus - European Spindle Tree : Flowers



Euonymus europaeus - European Spindle Tree

Euonymus europaeus - European Spindle Tree

Euonymus europaeus - European Spindle Tree

Euonymus europaeus - European Spindle Tree

Euonymus europaeus - European Spindle Tree

Euonymus europaeus - European Spindle Tree

Euonymus europaeus - European Spindle Tree



Euonymus europaeus - European Spindle Tree

Euonymus europaeus - European Spindle Tree

1 comment:

Danielle Blue said...

Great to run across this info! I found a small tree just like this here in Kansas! I'm glad to be able to ID it! Thanks for the info :)
Danielle

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