European Spindle

Euonymus europaeus

Euonymus europaeus is commonly known as the European or Common Spindle or simply Spindle. It is a species of deciduous shrub or small tree native to most of Europe, found at the forest edge, in hedgerows and on gentle slopes. It favours salt-poor soils and chalky soils.

It is popular in gardens and parks due to its bright pink or purple fruits and attractive autumn colouring, in addition to its resistance to frost and wind. The berries are very toxic and bitter.

Funky Facts File: The common name may derived from its use to make spindles for wool-spinning and butcher’s skewers as it is very hard and can be carved to a point.

Because it is so hard, its charcoal is favoured by artists.

Not to be confused with the Japanese Spindletree Euonymus japonicus (often just called Japonica), which is a common bush in local gardens and much favoured by insects

Japanese Spindletree Euonymus japonicus © Bo Beolens