Weather at Bedford, Hanscom Field, MA - via NOAA's National Weather Service

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Do you know how many kinds of Euonymus plants there are? I didn't - I still don't - but there are lots. It can be a shrub, a bush, a tree, a creeping vine.... In English is can be known as wintercreeper, spindle-tree, burning bush, and other names as well.
I already knew about the burning bush, E. alatus, also called winged euonymus, because it is an invasive and there is tons of it around my house.
The wintercreeper I also knew was a euonymus, E. fortunei, and I learned that it has become invasive in some areas.
What I recently learned is this: The spindle tree can be one of several forms of the tree. (At least I think so. There is a fair bit of information online, but sometimes it is hard to parse.) There is a native tree in this area, Euonymus atropurpureus, sometimes call eastern wahoo. There is an Asian type of the tree called E. bungeanus, also called winterberry euonymus. And there is the European euonymus, aptly named E. europaeus. They are similar in looks, size and fruit.
Whatever variety you may come across - don't eat the berries. It appears that at one time they were used for medicinal purposes, but there are other, safer medicines available today.
And in case you want to know more, the euonymus are in the plant family celastraceae, which includes japanese bittersweet, another greedy invasive in these parts.
There's ALWAYS more to learn...

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