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Euonymus japonicus 'Green Spire'

Evergreen, Shrubs


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 coldtolerant broad-leafed plants.

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

Euonymus japonicus

From China, Korea, Japan. Upright grower to 8–10 ft. high, 6 ft. wide; usually kept lower. Inconspicuous flowers. Older shrubs are attractive trained as trees, pruned and shaped to show their curving trunks and umbrella-shaped tops. Can be grouped to form a hedge or screen. Very glossy, leathery deep green leaves are 1–2 1/2 in. long, oval to roundish.

Though the species and its varieties are very tolerant of heat, unfavorable soil, and seacoast conditions, they tend to suffer from various problems. They are prone to scale, thrips, and spider mites. They are notorious for susceptibility to powdery mildew; to lessen likelihood of mildew infection, give a full-sun location with good air circulation.

Variegated forms are the most popular and are among the few shrubs to maintain their variega-tion in full sun in hot-summer climates. (There may be some confusion in nursery labeling of these varieties.)

'Green Spire'

Slow columnar growth to 6–8. high and only 1–2 ft.wide. Excellent in a container or as a narrow hedge.

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