Scientific Name:
Euonymus europaeus L., Sp. Pl. 197 (1753)
Vernacular Name(s):
Common spindle tree; Skewer wood; Spindle tree; Spindleberry

Much-branched glabrous, deciduous shrub or small tree up to 6 m high. Bark grey, smooth. Twigs green, quadrangular, smooth, not winged. Lvs opposite, ovate-lanceolate to elliptic, acute or acuminate, crenate, usually turning red in autumn, 2–10 cm long; petiole 6–12 mm long. Cymes 2–15-flowered, pedunculate, dichotomous. Buds greenish, ± 4-angled; fls usually 4-merous, 8–10 mm diam.; petals greenish yellow, ± oblong, widely separated. Capsule 4-lobed, deep pink, exposing the bright orange aril after opening.

[From: Webb et al. (1988) Flora of New Zealand. Volume 4.]


Flowering: Nov.–Dec.; Fruiting: Mar.–May.

Biosecurity New Zealand 2012: Regional Pest Management Strategies Database.
Connor, H.E. 1977: The Poisonous Plants in New Zealand. Edition 2. Government Printer, Wellington.
Edwards, R. 2008: Lincoln University campus – a guide to some of the trees currently growing there. Lincoln University, Lincoln.
Howell, C. 2008: Consolidated list of environmental weeds in New Zealand. DOC Research & Development Series 292: 42.
Linnaeus, C. 1753: Species Plantarum. Impensis Laurentii Salvii, Stockholm.
Stewart, J. 1971: Plants in New Zealand Poisonous to Man. New Zealand Department of Health, Wellington.