Euonymus Phellomanus Spindle Tree Euonymus Phellomanus is commonly called the Spindle Tree because of its unusual bark. The crust readily breaks away in distinctive plates. The tree’s mature layers appears grey and its new growth a vibrant green. Euonymus Phellomanus is an ornamental plant with highly decorative fruits in autumn.
A pretty deciduous tree, Spindle can be readily pruned into a tree form or grown as an upright rounded shrub. If you desire to maintain it as a small tree, the lower branches will need to be regularly cut back. When fully grown it attains a height of 4 meters and a spread of 2.5 meters. It typically takes the tree ten to twenty years to reach its maximum size making it a good choice tree for smaller gardens.
The flowers of the Euonymus Phellomanus are relatively inconspicuous. They appear small, almost hidden by the tree’s foliage. The diminutive blooms sports shades of yellowish-green during the month of May. After flowering, the spindle tree develops seed capsules that are exceptionally eye-catching. The four-lobed fruit appears as pinkish, red capsules that open to reveal brilliant orange seeds during the autumn months. Birds flock to the tree to feast on the fruit-like seed capsules. The seed capsules persist on the tree even after the foliage has fallen in the autumn to create colourful visual interest.
The spindle tree’s leaves are oval with slightly serrated edges. During the autumn, the green foliage turns bright yellow. In some cases, the foliage also appears in shades of reddish-purple before falling from the tree.
A tough tree, it adapts well to many garden situations. The spindle tree flourishes best in full sun, however, it will also tolerate partial shade. For optimum growth plant it in a south-facing, west-facing or east-facing area of the garden where it will receive at least six hours of sunlight per day. When planted in partial shade, it will normally develop far fewer seedpods. It prefers well-draining soil that is evenly moist with high organic content. Once established, it can withstand a period of drought. The shrub isn’t overly picky about soil and will tolerate alkaline, acidic or neutral soil conditions.
The bush can be pruned into a tree form or let grow in a natural shrub fashion. However, it is very accepting of pruning so can be easily sheared or trimmed to fit any garden size. The Euonymus Phellomanus Spindle tree is relatively carefree once established. It is often grown as a screen or privacy hedge. When formed as a tree, it makes a stunning garden specimen that is sure to attract a lot of admiration. Winner of the coveted Garden of Merit Award (AGM), this versatile shrub or tree is sure to thrive in your landscape.