This is the most common and widespread species in the genus. It is also the most complex and polymorphic species in E, S, and SE Asia, and can be confused with Euonymus japonicus, Euonymus theifolius, or Euonymus vagans[
Cassine fortunei (Turcz.) Kuntze
Elaeodendron fortunei Turcz.
Euonymus austroliukiuensis Hatus.
Euonymus carrierei Vauvel
Euonymus gracilis Siebold
Euonymus hederaceus Champ. ex Benth.
Euonymus japonicus L.f.
Euonymus kewensis (Bean) Hesse
Euonymus kiautschovicus Loes.
Euonymus patens Rehder
Euonymus radicans (Miq.) Siebold ex Miq.
Euonymus wensiensis J.W.Ren & D.S.Yao
Euonymus yoshinagae Makino
Masakia radicans (Siebold ex Miq.) Nakai
Masakia yoshinagae (Makino) Nakai
Common Name: Winter Creeper
Euonymus fortunei is an evergreen climbing shrub with much-branched stems that can be up to 20 metres long. The plant scrambles over the ground, often forming dense mats of vegetation, attaching itself to any supports it encounters by means of adventitious roots produced along the stems[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine. It is commonly grown as an ornamental, where it can be used as a ground cover plant and also as a hedge.
Euonymus fortunei is widely planted as an ornamental and has often escaped from cultivation, becoming established in the wild and excluding native species. Plants grow horizontally until they encounter a vertical surface like a rock, wall, or tree, which they then climb using adventitious roots. They can form dense mats over other vegetation, excluding other plants[
We have seen no specific reports of toxicity for this species, but there is a report in the Flora of the USSR Volume 14 that all parts of the plants in this genus are more or less poisonous[
E. Asia - China, Japan, Korea, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines
Woods and thickets in low mountains all over Japan[
]. Common in woodlands, scrub, and forests; at elevations from near sea level to 3,400 metres or higher[
|Other Uses Rating||
Euonymus fortunei can be found from the cold temperate regions of northeastern China to the tropics of southeast Asia. Plants are hardy to at least -18°c[
Thrives in almost any soil, including chalk, and is particularly suited to dry shaded areas[
]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a well-drained loamy soil. Thrives in sunny positions and in deep shade[
], though it does not fruit so well in the shade.
A shrubby somewhat creeping plant that can also climb by means of aerial roots[
], if placed by a support, a wall, tree or fence, the plant will start to climb it and will be self-attaching to a large degree[
]. Plants do not normally require pruning[
Plants have two forms of growth, a juvenile form and a mature form when the plants come into flower[
]. Plants in cultivation often retain the juvenile form and never flower[
A polymorphic species[
], there are a number of named varieties selected for their ornamental value[
Plants contain the anticancer compound dulcitol[
The plant is used in gynaecological applications[
A good evergreen ground cover plant[
]. The sub species E. fortunei radicans and E. fortunei carrieri are particularly useful, other forms to use include 'Emerald and Gold', 'Emerald Gaiety', 'Coloratus', 'Dart's Carpet' and 'Kewensis[
Plants can be grown as a low hedge[
], the varieties 'Emerald and Gold' and 'Variegatus' are normally used. They are very tolerant of clipping[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed requires 8 - 12 weeks warm followed by 8 - 16 weeks cold stratification and can then be sown in a cold frame[
]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 - 8cm long taken at a node or with a heel, mid summer in a frame. Very easy[