“Anonymous Euonymus” might be a suitable description for eleven months of the year but, even for this generally dull plant, its moment to shine arrives.
The Chinese Spindle, Euonymus planipes, is a large shrub or small tree – which it is becoming here after nearly twenty years – which doesn’t catch the eye for most of the year but in September it begins advertising that something interesting is coming down the line. The insignificant whitish flowers have developed to become crimson seedcases and these open to reveal bright orange seeds which dangle deliciously beneath the foliage. These are bright, colourful and interesting and lead us to think there might be more to the Euonymus than has met the eye so far in the year.
Today was the day, thanks perhaps to recent light frosts, this Euonymous shone; the foliage was suddenly colourful – bright yellows and reds – and it was no longer the dull, ignored plant of the rest of the year. Every dog has its day!
A word of warning: the seeds are bright and colourful and may be attractive to children but they are poisonous as are all parts of the plant.