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Euonymus fortunei

 
Euonymus fortunei
'Emerald Gaiety'
winter creeper

Common name winter creeper
Family celastraceae
Life cycle shrub
Light sun-part shade

Commonly grown varieties of winter creeper are 'Emerald Gaiety', with green-and-white variegated leaves, and 'Emerald & Gold', with green and yellow coloration. Besides the color, these varieties are fairly similar: They are lax-stemmed shrubs that make a serviceable mound up to a couple feet high when planted by themselves, occasionally rooting where the stems droop down to the soil. In our zone 6 garden, they aren't usefully evergreen: the leaves hold on, but go dull and limp when cold temperatures arrive. Still, they green up quickly in spring, and freshen up the garden the rest of the season. As you can see in the photo here, a more interesting way to grow them is to support their scrambling habit by providing a suitable neighbor - in this case a Tatarian honeysuckle, ascended by 'Emerald & Gold'.
We also grow the Moonshadow variety of this species, but because its habit is quite different, it has its own page.

Euonymus fortunei
'Emerald & Gold' in winter - the sparkling color contrast is gone, but the leaves hang on
winter creeper
Several years further along, Emerald & Gold has completely conquered that honeysuckle, and has designs on invading the neighboring weigela.
Euonymus fortunei
This is the plain species, which popped up as a volunteer (bird donation, no doubt) in our garden. Heeding fellow gardeners' words of caution about its invasive tendencies, so I treat this one as a weed.

In our garden, this plant grows in the following areas: side garden, the lane

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Last modified: May 31, 2015
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