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Euonymus latifolius (large-leaved spindle)

The large-leaved spindle is a shrub with scarlet fruits and brilliant red leaves in autumn.
Leaves and flowers of large-leaved spindle

Euonymus latifolius (Photo: Hermann Schachner)

Species information

Scientific name: 

Euonymus latifolius (L.) Mill.

Common name: 

large-leaved spindle

Conservation status: 

Not evaluated according to IUCN Red List criteria.

Habitat: 

On hillsides in scrub, among bracken and on wooded cliffs

Key Uses: 

Ornamental.

Known hazards: 

Seeds probably contain the same, or similar, range of toxic substances as those found in common spindle (E. europaeus), which is poisonous.

Taxonomy

Subclass: 
Superorder: 
Rosanae
Order: 
Celastrales
Family: 
Celastraceae
Genus: Euonymus

About this species

Philip Miller (1691-1771), head gardener at the Chelsea Physic Garden for nearly 50 years, described Euonymus latifolius in the 8th edition of his famous The Gardeners Dictionary (1768). It is particularly valued for the gorgeous red colour of its fruit and leaves in autumn, attributes that led to an Award of Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society in 1916.

Peter Davis, editor of the Flora of Turkey, described a trip to southwestern Anatolia, where he ‘climbed to some shady rocks in the Abies [fir] forest and saw the very lovely sight of Euonymus latifolius in ripe fruit.’ The fruits ‘trembled above one on stalks as long as a cherry’s. It should certainly be planted where one can look up at its laden branches'.

Synonym: 

Euonymus europaeus var. latifolius L., Euonymus sempervirens Rupr. ex Boiss.

Genus: 
Euonymus

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