Plant FinderPlant Finder Graphic
Euonymus fortunei ‘White Album’ (photo courtesy of Proven Winners)
Euonymus fortunei ‘White Album’ (photo courtesy of Proven Winners)

Click to Enlarge

Zones 2B, 3-17, 28-41
Full SunPartial SunNo Sun
Full, Partial, Shade
Regular Water

Euonymus fortunei

Evergreen, Shrubs, Vines


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 fortunei

This is one of the best broad-leafed evergreens where temperatures drop below 0°F/–18°C. Trails or climbs by rootlets. If plant is used as a shrub, its branches will trail and sometimes root; if allowed to climb, it will form a spreading mass to 20 ft. or more. Prostrate forms can be used to control erosion.

Rich deep green leaves are 1–2 1/2 in. long,with scallop-toothed edges; flowers are inconspicuous. Mature growth (like that of ivy) is shrubby and bears fruit; cuttings taken from this shrubby wood produce upright plants. Grows in sun or shade, but variegated types show better color in full sun. In desert, takes full sun better than ivy.

‘Canadale Gold’: Compact growth to 4 ft. high, 3–3 1/2 ft.wide, with light green leaves edged in yellow.

‘Coloratus’: Grows to 2 ft. high, 6–8 ft. wide. Tough, hardy, trailing or vining shrub. Sprawling growth habit; makes a sturdy, uniform ground cover. Leaves turn dark purple in fall and winter.

‘Emerald Gaiety’: Compact growth to 4–5 ft. high, 3 ft. wide. Dense, erect shrub with deep green leaves edged in white. Good for low hedge, foundation planting.

‘Emerald ’n Gold’: Grows to 4–5 ft. high, 3 ft. wide. Dense, erect shrub with deep green leaves edged in golden yellow.

‘Golden Prince’: Grows to 4 ft. high and wide. New growth tipped gold; older leaves turn solid green. Extremely hardy. Good hedge plant.

‘Harlequin’: Just 6–12 in. high and 12–18 in. wide. New growth is almost all white, becoming mottled green and white. Makes a nice edging or container plant.

‘Ivory Jade’: Dense, spreading growth to 3 ft. high, 6 ft. wide, with erect branches. Creamy white leaf margins show pink tints in cold weather. Orange fall fruits. Makes a nice low hedge or accent plant.

 ‘Moonshadow’: Grows to 3 ft. high, 4– 5 ft. wide. Bright yellow leaves with dark green margins. Colorful accent, groundcover, or low hedge.

You Might Also Like...

Calamagrostis brachytricha

Deciduous. This grass forms an upright, arching clump 1 1/2–2 1/2 ft. tall and 2 ft. wide. In la...

Ruta graveolens

Growing to 2–3 ft. tall and wide, with aromatic, ferny-looking blue-green leaves, this native of...

Calamagrostis x acutiflora

This is a naturally occurring, sterile European hybrid between Calamagrostis arundinacea and ...

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

View Maps Learn More