Scientific: Euonymus japonica
Common: Evergreen euonymus
Family: Celastraceae
Origin: China, Japan

Pronounciation: U-ON-o-mus ja-PON-i-ca

Hardiness zones
USDA 5-11

Landscape Use: Used as a hedge or foundation filler plant in oasis or mesic landscape themes.

Form & Character: Formal, stiff, green, old fashioned, great for grandma's front yard landscape or for that nostalgic garden effect.

Growth Habit: Evergreen woody perennial, upright to 8 feet. Easily maintained at 4 to 5 feet in height.

Foliage/Texture: Deep green oval shaped foliage, 1 to 3 inches long. Foliage serrate, younger stems green, prominent axillary vegetative buds; medium texture.

Flowers & Fruits: Small axillary white flower in the spring; fruits are small black drupes.

Seasonal Color: None

Temperature: Cold tolerant, foliage turns purple when temperatures fall below freezing for extended periods.

Light: Partial shade, eastern and northern exposures are best, no western exposures or full sun.

Soil: Intolerant of most highly alkaline soils in the Phoenix area where it will show foliar iron chlorosis. Treat long- term by applications of elemental sulfur and ammoniacal nitrogen fertilizer, otherwise in the short-term use a liquid concentrated chelated form of iron and zinc micronutrient fertilizer.

Watering: Regular supplemental water (in the most regular way) is an absolute must to keep this mesic shrub alive in Phoenix.

Pruning: Usually informally to formally hedged.....this means that you 'hort clods' out there can suit up!...grab a can of Bah-lite or Keystone Light and venture out into the urban woods with your old '84 F150 and utility trailer.

Propagation: Softwood cuttings (a little rooting hormone and a mist system and you're in business).

Disease and pests: Scale and thrips, powdery mildew during the spring and early summer. Provide good air circulation to inhibit occurence of both problems.

Additional comments: In contemporary Phoenix landscape designs, Japanese euonymus is relegated to the most mesic and formal of landscape design themes. There are many named cultivars, some with dramatic variegated foliage such as this example (image captured by Cynthia James-Richman).

Hey plant freaks, check out this unusual Euonymus japonica stem fasciation I stumbled upon at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum in March 2006.