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Euonymus alatus (photo courtesy of Proven Winners)
Euonymus alatus (photo courtesy of Proven Winners)

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Zone
Zones A3, 2-10, 14-16, 29-45
Full SunPartial SunNo Sun
Full, Partial, Shade
Regular Water
Moderate

Euonymus alatus

Winged Euonymus
Celastraceae
Deciduous, Shrubs

EUONYMUS

Deciduous and evergreen euonymus species are distinct: the characteristic squarish “hatbox” fruit common to both offers the only hint that they’re related. Deciduous types are valued for fall leaf color or showy fruit. Evergreen sorts, used mainly for landscape structure (background and foundation plants, hedges, dividers), include some of the most cold-tolerant broad-leafed plants.

Most species take a range of exposures, from full sun to fairly deep shade; deciduous kinds with fall color give the best display in a sunny location. Some species are very susceptible to mildew. Scale can be a problem on any euonymus.

Euonymus alatus

Deciduous shrub from China, Japan. Though nursery tags may indicate a much smaller plant, the species can reach 15–20 ft. high and wide. Dense, twiggy, flat-topped shrub with horizontal branching. Twigs have flat, corky wings that disappear on older growth. Though fruit is smaller and less profuse, fall color is impressive: the dark green leaves turn flaming red. (On plants grown in shade, fall color is pink.)

Euonymus alatus ‘Compactus’ (photo courtesy of Bailey Nurseries, Inc.)
Euonymus alatus ‘Compactus’ (photo courtesy of Bailey Nurseries, Inc.)

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‘Compactus’

Smaller than the species, this deciduous shrub grows to 6–10 ft. high and not quite as wide. Not quite as cold hardy as the species.

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