Euonymus carnosus
Common Name: euonymus 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Celastraceae
Native Range: Taiwan
Zone: 4 to 7
Height: 12.00 to 16.00 feet
Spread: 8.00 to 10.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to August
Bloom Description: Creamy white
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Good Fall
Attracts: Birds
Fruit: Showy


Winter hardy to USDA Zones 4-7 where it is easily grown in moist, rich, humusy, well-drained soils in full sun to light shade.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Euonymus carnosus, commonly known as fleshy-flowered spindletree, typically develops into a large shrub to 12-16’ tall with a spread to 8-10’ wide, but less frequently rises as a small tree to as much as 25-30’ tall. This is a rare, deciduous species that is native to forests and woodlands in the Sino-Himalayan region from SW China to the Himalayas and to parts of Japan.

It is noted for its excellent ornamental attributes, namely, (a) fragrant creamy-white flowers (loved by bees) in showy dense corymbs of 5-8 flowers which dangle from long pedicels over a long spring into summer (May-August) bloom period, (b) glossy, waxy-looking, elliptic to ovate, dark green leaves (to 3-7” long) which are attractive throughout summer, (c) fiery, coral-red fruit with orange arils which develop from late summer into autumn, (d) deep-red to burgundy-purple fall color which develops in late autumn, and (e) smooth gray bark which is attractive year round, but particularly so in winter after leaf drop.

Flowers bloom May-August. Fruit develops August-November.

Primary seed dispersal agent is birds who consume the fruits and eventually disburse the seeds.

Genus name is an ancient Greek name referring to plants of this genus.

Specific epithet means fleshy in reference to the thick flower petals and fruit.


No serious insect or disease problems. Appears to have good resistance to euonymus scale. Mites, leaf miner, aphids, mealybugs and crown gall may appear. Watch for witches’ broom, stem dieback, powdery mildew and fungal leaf spot.


Shrub/tree with excellent ornamental values. Foundations. Hedge. Specimen/accent. Group/mass. Woodland margins. Rare plant that may be difficult to locate in commerce.