Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Euonymus fortunei
(wintercreeper)

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Datasheet

Euonymus fortunei (wintercreeper)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 10 December 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Euonymus fortunei
  • Preferred Common Name
  • wintercreeper
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Euonymus fortunei is an evergreen, shade-tolerant vine that can form a dense groundcover and also climbs. Native to Asia, from Japan to the Philippines, it has been widely used as an ornamental plant in tempera...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Euonymus fortunei (wintercreeper); flowers and foliage.
TitleFlowers and foliage
CaptionEuonymus fortunei (wintercreeper); flowers and foliage.
Copyright©Sylvan Kaufman
Euonymus fortunei (wintercreeper); flowers and foliage.
Flowers and foliageEuonymus fortunei (wintercreeper); flowers and foliage.©Sylvan Kaufman
Euonymus fortunei (wintercreeper); close view of flowers.
TitleFlowers
CaptionEuonymus fortunei (wintercreeper); close view of flowers.
Copyright©Sylvan Kaufman
Euonymus fortunei (wintercreeper); close view of flowers.
FlowersEuonymus fortunei (wintercreeper); close view of flowers.©Sylvan Kaufman

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Euonymus fortunei (Turcz.) Hand.-Mazz.

Preferred Common Name

  • wintercreeper

Other Scientific Names

  • Elaeodendron fortunei Turcz.
  • Euonymus carrierei Vauvel
  • Euonymus hederaceus Champ. ex Beth.
  • Euonymus japonicus (Thunb.) var. acutus (Rehder)
  • Euonymus japonicus var. chinensis Pamp. (1910)
  • Euonymus kiautschovicus Loes.
  • Euonymus patens Rehder
  • Euonymus radicans (Miq.) Siebold ex Hand.-Mazz.
  • Euonymus radicans var. acutus (Rehder) Rehder
  • Euonymus wensiensis J.W. Ren & D.S. Yao (1996)

International Common Names

  • English: Chinese spindle tree; climbing euonymus; gaiety; winter creeper
  • Spanish: ebonimus
  • French: fusain de fortune
  • Chinese: fu fang tang

Local Common Names

  • : purple leaf wintercreeper
  • Germany: kletternder spindelstrauch; kriech-spindelstrauch; Spindelstrauch, Kletter-
  • Japan: turu-masaki

EPPO code

  • EUOFO (Euonymus fortunei)

Summary of Invasiveness

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Euonymus fortunei is an evergreen, shade-tolerant vine that can form a dense groundcover and also climbs. Native to Asia, from Japan to the Philippines, it has been widely used as an ornamental plant in temperate and sub-tropical regions around the world. Most reports of naturalization and invasion of E. fortunei are from eastern North America. It was introduced to the USA in the late 1800s or early 1900s. First reports of invasiveness did not appear until the late 1990s. It can outcompete other ground layer species for resources and when it climbs on trees it adds extra weight to the branches that can make them more susceptible to storm damage. It may also change soil chemistry and food webs. E. fortunei is proposed for listing as a regulated species in New York, USA.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Celastrales
  •                         Family: Celastraceae
  •                             Genus: Euonymus
  •                                 Species: Euonymus fortunei

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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E. fortunei (Turczaninow) Handel-Mazzett was first named in 1863, as Elaeodendron fortunei Turczaninow (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2013).  Two varieties may occur in North America, Euonymus fortunei var. fortunei (Turcz.) Hand.-Maz  and Euonymus fortunei var. radicans (Siebold ex Miq.) Rehder (ITIS, 2013).  These varieties are not distinguished in other local floras (Zouhar, 2009).  Dirr (1998) lists E. fortunei var. coloratus which is often listed as the cultivar 'Coloratus'. Some of the confusion about varieties and cultivars comes from E. fortunei’s tendency to easily produce new leaf colours, sizes and variegations:

"This is the most common and widespread species in the genus. It is also the most complex and polymorphic species in East, South, and Southeast Asia, and can be confused with Euonymus japonicus, E. theifolius, or E. vagans. Numerous taxa have been named within the E. fortunei complex but many of these refer to cultivated plants and are best treated as cultivars." (The Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2013).

Other synonyms for E. fortunei are reported by Nesom (2009), Flora of China Editorial Committee (2013) and ISSG (2013). Some of its common names depend on the cultivar.  For example, 'Emerald 'n' Gold' is sometimes used as a common name but usually describes a cultivar.

Description

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E. fortunei grows as an evergreen, woody, clinging vine climbing to 12-22 m (40-70 ft) with the support of aerial roots, or it can form a dense groundcover or low shrub to 1 m tall (Hutchison, 2006).

The leaves are variable in colour and size. Leaves can be "dark green, green-white or green-gold variegation with some cultivars having purplish lower surfaces" (Hutchison, 2006). Leaves are "ovate (egg-shaped), 2.5-6 cm (1-2.5 in) long, 2.5-4.5 cm (1-1.75 in) wide, and thick with the base of the leaf tapering to the stalk. The leaf stalk (petiole) is 0.4-1 cm (0.13-0.38 in) long. The leaf margins are finely toothed and somewhat turned under or wavy. The blades are glossy with silvery or whitish veins. Leaves usually occur in pairs, but vigorous shoots may have sections with an alternate arrangement.

During harsh winters, E. fortunei may drop some or all of its leaves, leaving only the stems. The stems are stout, green and hairless when young becoming grey, slightly warty or corky and hairy with age, but may turn greenish-purple during severe cold. Small, greenish-yellow, inconspicuous flowers form at the ends of y-shaped stems in May to July. Each flower is 2-3 mm (0.1 inch) wide and has four petals" (Hutchison, 2006). The dangling paired or single fruits are pinkish to reddish, 0.5-1.0 cm (0.2-0.4 inch) long rounded capsules that mature in September to November and split to reveal orange to red fleshy-coated seeds (Miller et al., 2010).

Plant Type

Top of page Broadleaved
Perennial
Seed propagated
Shrub
Vegetatively propagated
Vine / climber
Woody

Distribution

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E. fortunei is native to China where it is widespread (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2013). It is also native to Japan, Taiwan, Korea, India, Indonesia, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, Philippines, and Vietnam (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2013; USDA-ARS, 2013).

Zouhar (2009) lists E. fortunei in numerous states in the USA, mainly concentrated in midwestern and southeastern states. It also occurs in Ontario, Canada (USDA-NRCS, 2013).

E. fortunei is cultivated in Europe, North America, South America and Oceania (Teillier et al., 2003; Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2013) but there are relatively few cases where it has been reported as naturalized except in North America.

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Last updated: 10 Jan 2020
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes

Asia

ChinaPresentCABI (Undated)Present based on regional distribution.
-AnhuiPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2013)
-FujianPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2013)
-GansuPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2013)
-GuangdongPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2013)
-GuangxiPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2013)
-GuizhouPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2013)
-HainanPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2013)
-HebeiPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2013)
-HenanPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2013)
-HubeiPresentNativeBartholemew et al. (1983); Flora of China Editorial Committee (2013)
-HunanPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2013)
-JiangsuPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2013)
-JiangxiPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2013)
-LiaoningPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2013)
-QinghaiPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2013)
-ShaanxiPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2013)
-ShandongPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2013)
-ShanxiPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2013)
-SichuanPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2013)
-XinjiangPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2013)
-YunnanPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2013)
-ZhejiangPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2013)
Hong KongPresent1867NativeRoyal Botanic Gardens Kew (2013)Victoria Peak
IndiaPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2013)
IndonesiaPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2013)
-JavaPresentNativeSteenis (1950)
JapanPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2013)
-HokkaidoPresent, WidespreadNativeOhwi (1965)
-HonshuPresent, WidespreadNativeOhwi (1965)
-KyushuPresent, WidespreadNativeOhwi (1965); GBIF (2013)
-ShikokuPresent, WidespreadNativeOhwi (1965)
LaosPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2013)
MyanmarPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2013); Kress et al. (2003)
PakistanPresentFlora of China Editorial Committee (2013)
PhilippinesPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2013)
South KoreaPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2013)
TaiwanPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2013)
ThailandPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2013)
VietnamPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2013)

Europe

DenmarkPresent, Only in captivity/cultivation1989IntroducedGBIF (2013)University of Copenhagen Arboretum
FrancePresentIntroducedTela Botanica (2013); Marco et al. (2010)Southwestern France
GermanyPresent2008IntroducedGBIF (2013)Lindau
PolandPresent, Only in captivity/cultivation1996IntroducedGBIF (2013)
SlovakiaPresentIntroducedGBIF (2013)

North America

CanadaPresentCABI (Undated)Present based on regional distribution.
-British ColumbiaPresent, Only in captivity/cultivation1956IntroducedGBIF (2013)University of British Columbia Botanical Garden
-OntarioPresent, Only in captivity/cultivation1991IntroducedDiTomaso and Healy (2003); Catling (1997); USDA-NRCS (2013)Royal Botanical Gardens, Hamilton
MexicoPresentNativeZouhar (2009)
United StatesPresentCABI (Undated)Present based on regional distribution.
-AlabamaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS (2013); EDDMapS (2013)
-ArkansasPresent, LocalizedIntroducedZouhar (2009); USDA-NRCS (2013)
-ConnecticutPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS (2013); Angelo (1990); EDDMapS (2013)
-DelawarePresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS (2013)
-District of ColumbiaPresent, LocalizedIntroducedInvasiveZouhar (2009); EDDMapS (2013); USDA-NRCS (2013)Rock Creek Park
-GeorgiaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS (2013); EDDMapS (2013)
-IllinoisPresent, Localized1990Introduced1978InvasiveZouhar (2009); EDDMapS (2013); USDA-NRCS (2013)
-IndianaPresent, LocalizedIntroducedInvasiveBrothers and Spingarn (1992); EDDMapS (2013); USDA-NRCS (2013)
-KansasPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS (2013); Freeman et al. (1998)
-KentuckyPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS (2013); Zouhar (2009); EDDMapS (2013)
-MarylandPresent, Localized2003IntroducedInvasiveShelter et al. (2006); USDA-NRCS (2013)Plummers Island
-MassachusettsPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS (2013); BONAP (2013); EDDMapS (2013)
-MichiganPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS (2013)
-MississippiPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS (2013); Denley et al. (2002); EDDMapS (2013)
-MissouriPresent, Localized2001IntroducedInvasiveEDDMapS (2013); Muhlenback (1979); USDA-NRCS (2013)
-NebraskaPresent, LocalizedIntroducedNesom (2009)
-New JerseyPresent, Widespread2010IntroducedInvasiveEDDMapS (2013); USDA-NRCS (2013)
-New YorkPresent, LocalizedIntroducedInvasiveYost et al. (1991); USDA-NRCS (2013)
-North CarolinaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS (2013); Zouhar (2009); EDDMapS (2013)
-OhioPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS (2013); Zouhar (2009)
-PennsylvaniaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS (2013)
-Rhode IslandPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS (2013)
-South CarolinaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS (2013)
-TennesseePresent, WidespreadIntroducedInvasiveZouhar (2009); USDA-NRCS (2013)
-TexasPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS (2013); Nesom (2009)
-VirginiaPresent, LocalizedIntroducedInvasiveEDDMapS (2013); Zouhar (2009); USDA-NRCS (2013)Fairfax County
-WisconsinPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS (2013); BONAP (2013)

Oceania

New ZealandPresent, Localized2003Introduced1955New Zealand Plant Conservation Network (2013); GBIF (2013)Claudlands Bush and Waikite Valley streamsides

South America

ChilePresent, Only in captivity/cultivationIntroducedTeillier et al. (2003)Widely cultivated

History of Introduction and Spread

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In the 1860s, E. fortunei was recommended for ornamental use (Hogg, 1867). It was introduced to Europe around 1860 by Robert Fortune, who probably collected it from Japan (Bretschneider, 1898). In 1880, it was described in the Gardener’s Monthly and Horticulturist (Meehan, 1880). It was also reported to be an ornamental plant in 1884 (Fish, 1884). Further collections were made by E.H. Wilson and others into the 1990s (USDA, 1967; Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, 2013; USDA-ARS, 2013).

E. fortunei was introduced in 1895 to Montana, USA, and was described as “useless” for horticulture. Specimens were sent from China to the US in 1906, 1908, and 1914 by Frank N. Myer (USDA-ARS, 2013). Other E. fortunei plants were received from England in 1915 and Japan in 1961 by the US Department of Agriculture Research Station in Beltsville, MD (USDA, 1967; USDA-ARS, 2013).

The Harvard University Herbarium (2013) in Massachusetts, USA, has herbarium specimens dating from 1845 collected by Robert Fortune in China, as well as one from Rhode Island, USA, from 1889 and from Florida, USA, from 1887 with a note that it was probably introduced to those states from China by George R. Hall. Specimens were received by the Arnold Arboretum from western China collected by E. H. Wilson in 1907 (Wilson, 1913).

In Canada, Catling (1997) reported E. fortunei as invasive in Ontario, Canada. Another specific location report of naturalization was on sanctuary lands of the Royal Botanical Garden in Ontario where the seeds were presumed to have come from cultivated plants at the botanical garden (Rothfels, 2004). Most other reports of naturalization and invasion begin in the late 1990s (Zouhar, 2009).

Introductions

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Introduced toIntroduced fromYearReasonIntroduced byEstablished in wild throughReferencesNotes
Natural reproductionContinuous restocking
UK Japan 1860 Horticulture (pathway cause) No Bretschneider (1898)
USA Japan 1961 Horticulture (pathway cause) Yes USDA (1967)
USA China 1906-1914 Horticulture (pathway cause) Yes USDA-ARS (2013)
USA UK 1915 Horticulture (pathway cause) Yes USDA-ARS (2013)

Risk of Introduction

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E. fortunei is sold around the world as an ornamental plant. It is propagated primarily through cuttings but can be grown from seed (Dirr, 1998). It could be shipped as seeds, cuttings, or container plants.

Habitat

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In Asia, E. fortunei is "Common in woodlands, scrub, and forests" (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2013).

In the USA, E. fortunei is found in a variety of forest types including floodplain, mesic, and dry-mesic forests dominated by deciduous hardwoods. Some of the specific forest communities in which it occurs include oak-hickory, sugar maple-American beech, and green ash-silver maple. It is occasionally found in more open field and scrub habitats (Zouhar, 2009).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
 
Terrestrial – ManagedDisturbed areas Present, no further details
Urban / peri-urban areas Principal habitat Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural forests Principal habitat Natural
Natural grasslands Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Scrub / shrublands Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Scrub / shrublands Principal habitat Natural

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

E. fortunei has a chromosomal number of n=16, 2n=32.

Reproductive Biology

Plants can reproduce vegetatively, forming rootlets at nodes where branches contact the ground (Zouhar, 2009).

Physiology and Phenology

E. fortunei is usually evergreen. It flowers from April to August and set fruits from July to December (Zouhar, 2009). It is shade tolerant, showing relatively efficient use of low light (Wang and Ma, 2004). Seeds of several species of Euonymus can be stored for more than 2 years (Wyman, 1953).

Fruiting occurs on upright, climbing stems. The flowering sections of the vines do not have aerial rootlets (Miller et al., 2010). Groundcover plants seldom fruit or flower because the vine diameter must reach approximately 1 cm to trigger flowering (Zouhar, 2009). Fruits often persist on plants into winter (Zouhar, 2009). Each dry capsule holds up to 4 seeds covered in a bright orange aril (Miller et al., 2010).

Longevity

No reports of longevity in the wild were found, but in cultivation plants have been documented to live at least 15 years (Missouri Botanical Garden, 2013).

Associations

A record number of numerous wasps and flies were reported visiting the flowers in Michigan, USA, along with two cerambycid beetle species, Brachyleptura champlaini and Brachyleptura rubrica. The cerambycids were feeding on pollen and became "incapable of flight or coordinated movement" (Gosling, 1984).

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year
Df - Continental climate, wet all year Preferred Continental climate, wet all year (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, wet all year)

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
40 42

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Absolute minimum temperature (ºC) -15
Mean annual temperature (ºC) -9 33
Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC) 27 33
Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC) -9 -1

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Dry season duration00number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall
Mean annual rainfall9371363mm; lower/upper limits

Rainfall Regime

Top of page Bimodal

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free

Soil reaction

  • acid
  • alkaline
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • light
  • medium

Special soil tolerances

  • infertile

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Cercospora euonymi Pathogen Leaves
Glomerella cingulata Pathogen Leaves/Stems not specific
Phymatotrichopsis omnivora Parasite Roots not specific
Pseudocercospora destructiva Pathogen Leaves to genus
Pseudoidium euonymi-japonici Pathogen Leaves to genus
Rhizobium radiobacter Pathogen Roots/Stems not specific
Unaspis euonymi Herbivore Leaves not specific

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Vector Transmission (biotic)

Seeds are bird-dispersed (Zouhar, 2009).

Intentional Introduction

Intentional introduction has primarily been as an ornamental plant. Plants have been introduced numerous times to the USA and Europe from their native range for plant breeding programs (Harvard University Herbarium, 2013; USDA-ARS, 2013).

Notes on Natural Enemies

Unaspis euonymi (euonymus scale) causes leaf abscission, particularly when E. fortunei is drought-stressed. Infestations can be lethal. Cultivars ‘Vegetus’ and ‘Coloratus’ appear to be particularly susceptible. U. euonymi affects a variety of Euonymus species (Zouhar, 2009).

In the southwestern USA and northern Mexico, E. fortunei is very susceptible to Phymatotrichum omnivorum (Texas root rot), a parasitic root fungus that attacks several ornamental species (Zouhar, 2009).

A species of powdery mildew, Oidium euonymi-japonici [Pseudoidium euonymi-japonici], causes its leaves to yellow and drop off (Hutchison, 2006).

E. fortunei is also browsed by rabbits (Zouhar, 2009).

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Botanical gardens and zoosPlanted at Royal Botanical Garden, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and at Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square Yes Longwood Gardens, 2012; Rothfels, 2004
Breeding and propagationNumerous cultivars have been bred and propagated for commercial sale Yes Yes Dirr, 1998
Escape from confinement or garden escapeOften naturalized close to plantings Yes Zouhar, 2009
HorticultureCultivars are sold at numerous retail nurseries in many countries as well as online Yes Yes Amazon, 2013; ISSG, 2013
Internet salesPlants are available for sale on numerous internet sites Yes ISSG, 2013
Nursery tradeMany nurseries stock the plant Yes Yes ISSG, 2013
Ornamental purposesPlants are sold for ornamental plantings Yes Yes Dirr, 1998

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Host and vector organismsBirds spread seeds Yes Miller et al., 2010
Land vehiclesPotted plants transported to nurseries and homes Yes ISSG, 2013
MailAs live plants or seeds Yes ISSG, 2013

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Cultural/amenity Positive
Economic/livelihood Positive
Environment (generally) Negative

Environmental Impact

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Impact on Habitat

E. fortunei is listed as one of the vines most likely to impact Illinois forests by the Illinois Department of Energy and Natural Resources (1994).

The weight that this vine adds to tree branches can make them more susceptible to storm damage (Remaley, 2005).

Impact on Biodiversity

E. fortunei appears to alter soil communities in woodland affecting the growth of native plant species (Swedo et al., 2008; Smith and Reynolds, 2012). It forms a dense groundcover impacting habitat for state-listed imperilled plant, Trillium pusillum (Andre and Wait, 2006). It can also smother and kill trees (Schwegman, 1996).

Threatened Species

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Threatened SpeciesConservation StatusWhere ThreatenedMechanismReferencesNotes
Trillium pusillumNo DetailsKentucky; Maryland; Missouri; North Carolina; TennesseeCompetition - monopolizing resources; Competition - shadingAndre and Wait, 2006

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Tolerant of shade
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
  • Reproduces asexually
  • Has high genetic variability
Impact outcomes
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of endangered species
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition - shading
  • Competition - smothering
  • Rapid growth
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately

Uses

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Economic Value

E. fortunei has long been cultivated as an ornamental plant in China and Japan.

A survey of nurseries in Georgia found that 124 nurseries of the 655 respondents sold E. fortunei with revenues estimated at $187,100/year (Stegelin, 2006).

Social Benefit

Used as a medicinal plant in China, it contains dulcitol which has anti-cancer properties (Guangxi University of Chinese Medicine, 2013).

Uses List

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General

  • Botanical garden/zoo

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Source of medicine/pharmaceutical
  • Traditional/folklore

Ornamental

  • Potted plant
  • Propagation material
  • Seed trade

Detection and Inspection

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E. fortunei is relatively easy to identify and numerous field guides include the species (Miller et al., 2010; Kaufman and Kaufman, 2013).

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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Euonymus japonicus is more upright than E. fortunei, growing to 3 m tall, but is otherwise very similar in appearance (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2013). Euonymus theifolius has longer, narrower leaves (5-10 cm vs. 2-5.5 cm) and the flowers are usually in larger clusters of more than 7 flowers (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2013). Euonymus vagans is also more shrub-like growing only to 3 m, but otherwise its characteristics overlap with those of E. fortunei (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2013).

Although two varieties of E. fortunei are reported in North America, E. fortunei var. fortunei and E. fortunei var. radicans (Siebold ex Miq.) Rehder (Zouhar, 2009), no information could be found on how they are distinguished from the species.

Vinca minor and Vinca major may be confused with E. fortunei, but Vinca has purple, pinwheel shaped flowers and the leaf margins are smooth and slightly rolled under (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2013).

Prevention and Control

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Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.

Containment/Zoning

E. fortunei is proposed as a regulated species in New York (New York Department of Environmental Conservation, 2013).

Control

Physical/mechanical control

E. fortunei should be hand pulled or cut removing as much of the root as possible (Schwegman, 1996). Mow with a sickle bar and remove cut pieces (Bender, 2007).

E. fortunei should be prevented from flowering and setting seed by clipping climbing stems (Schwegman, 1996). Care should be taken when disposing cut or pulled plants since stems can root (Zouhar, 2009).

Chemical control

Apply herbicide to cut stems or spray foliage with herbicide in late fall when other plants are dormant (Hutchison, 2006; Remaley, 2005).

Monitoring and surveillance (incl. remote sensing)

Since plants often escape from nearby plantings, monitor areas near plantings carefully.

Ecosystem restoration

Minimize disturbance where invasive plants are likely to establish (Zouhar, 2009).

Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs

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There is relatively little information available on impacts of naturalized E. fortunei. It is not known what bird species disperse the seeds and how much dispersal is due to seeds or plant parts. Little information exists on whether it has naturalized on other continents.

References

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Amazon, 2013. Wintercreeper. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=wintercreeper

Andre CS; Wait DA, 2006. Ecology of three populations of the rare woodland perennial Trillium pusillum Michaux (Liliaceae) in southwestern Missouri. Missouriensis, 26:2-21.

Angelo R, 1990. Concord area trees and shrubs. Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: Harvard University. http://www.ray-a.com/ConcordAreaTrees&Shrubs/

Bartholemew B; Boufford DE; Chang AL; Cheng Z; Dudley TR; He SA; Jin YX; Li QY; Luteyn JL; Spongberg SA; Sun SC; Tang YC; Wan JX; Ying TS, 1983. The 1980 Sino-American botanical expedition to western Hubei province, People's Republic of China. Journal of the Arnold Arboretum, 64(1):1-103.

Bender J, 2007. One of Kentucky's least wanted weeds: winter creeper. Kentucky Woodlands Magazine, 2(2). 10-11. http://www2.ca.uky.edu/forestryextension/KWM/Winter%20creeper.pdf

Bentham G, 1861. A description of the flowering plants and ferns of the island of Hong Kong. London, UK: Lovell Reave, 59 pp. http://eol.org/pages/392378/literature/bhl_title/116542

BONAP, 2013. BONAP's North American Plant Atlas (NAPA). The Biota of North America Program. http://bonap.net/napa

Bretschneider E, 1898. History of European plant discoveries in China. Reprint 2011. Hamburg, Germany: Severus Verlag.

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Distribution References

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Bartholemew B, Boufford D E, Chang A L, Cheng Z, Dudley T R, He S A, Jin Y X, Li Q Y, Luteyn J L, Spongberg S A, Sun S C, Tang Y C, Wan J X, Ying T S, 1983. The 1980 Sino-American botanical expedition to western Hubei province, People's Republic of China. Journal of the Arnold Arboretum. 64 (1), 1-103.

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Denley K K, Bryson C T, Stewart R A, 2002. Vascular flora of Yalobusha County, Mississippi. Castanea. 67 (4), 402-415.

DiTomaso J M, Healy E A, 2003. Aquatic and riparian weeds of the West. [ed. by DiTomaso J M, Healy E A]. Oakland, USA: University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources Communications Services - Publications. vi + 442 pp.

EDDMapS, 2013. Early detection and distribution mapping system., Georgia, USA: University of Georgia. https://www.eddmaps.org/

Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2013. Flora of China web., Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Herbaria. http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/

Freeman CC, McGregor RL, Morse CA, 1998. Vascular plants new to Kansas. In: Sida, 18 (2) 593-604.

GBIF, 2013. Global Biodiversity Information Facility. http://www.gbif.org/species

Kress WJ, DeFilipps RA, Farr E, Kyi DYY, 2003. A checklist of the trees, shrubs, herbs and climbers of Myanmar., 45 USA: United States National Herbarium. 1-590.

Marco A, Lavergne S, Dutoit T, Bertaudiere-Montes V, 2010. From the backyard to the backcountry: how ecological and biological traits explain the escape of garden plants into Mediterranean old fields. Biological Invasions. 12 (4), 761-779. http://www.springerlink.com/content/81t2pp4u33281n2t/?p=a795139087354c21bc3345374acacf86&pi=8 DOI:10.1007/s10530-009-9479-3

Muhlenback V, 1979. Contributions to the synanthropic (adventive) flora of the railroads in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. In: Annals of the Missouri Botanic Garden, 66 (1) 1-108.

Nesom GL, 2009. Assessment of invasiveness and ecological impact of non-native plants of Texas. In: Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas, 3 (2) 971-991.

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Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, 2013. Kew Herbarium catalogue., Richmond London, UK: http://apps.kew.org/herbcat/navigator.do

Shelter SG, Orli SS, Wells EF, Beyersdorfer M, 2006. Checklist of the vascular plants of Plummers Island, Maryland. In: Bulletin of the Biological Society of Washington, 14 (1) 1-57.

Steenis CGGJ van, 1950. Flora Malesiana, Series I, seed plants., Jakarta, Indonesia: Noordhoff-Kolf. http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/105781#page/7/mode/1up

Teillier S, Rodriguez R, Serra MT, 2003. Preliminary List of woody plants, alien, Feral Chile Continental. (Lista preliminar de plantas leñosas, alóctonas, asilvestradas en Chile Continental). In: Chloris Chilensis, 6 (2) http://www.chlorischile.cl

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Zouhar K, 2009. Euonymus fortunei. In: Fire effects information system, US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Links to Websites

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WebsiteURLComment
Fire Effects Information System, USDA Forest Service - Euonymus fortuneihttp://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/vine/euofor/all.html
GISD/IASPMR: Invasive Alien Species Pathway Management Resource and DAISIE European Invasive Alien Species Gatewayhttps://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.m93f6Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.
Global Invasive Species Database - Euonymus fortuneihttp://www.issg.org/database/species/ecology.asp?si=575&fr=1&sts=sss&lang=EN
Global register of Introduced and Invasive species (GRIIS)http://griis.org/Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.
New York State Risk Assessment - Euonymus fortuneihttp://www.nyis.info/user_uploads/b1fc4_Euonymus%20fortunei.NYS.pdf

Contributors

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07/02/2014 Original text by:

Sylvan Kaufman, Consultant, New Mexico, USA

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