Department of Horticulture New York State Horticulture Study Guide for Youth 4-H Logo


Flowers &
Indoor Plants

Fruits & Nuts



Special Topics



Cornell University

Winged Euonymus
Euonymus alata
(yew-on-i-muss ah-lay-tah)

Click on thumbnails for larger image.

What about it?

Euonymus is a deciduous shrub with opposite leaves and buds. It has corky attachments to its branches that look like wings. The leaves are 1-2 inches long with an elliptical shape and very small teeth. It will grow up to 8 feet tall and has an irregular, upright spreading shape. In the fall the leaves turn bright red. Many people plant it for its fall color alone.

What is it used for?

Euonymus is often used as a barrier shrub, a hedge, a border shrub, or foundation planting. It will not make a solid barrier so it should not be used in areas in heavy traffic. There are three particular varieties: 'Compacta' is more compact and low growing but not as corky; 'Gracilis' is very dense; and 'Monstrosa', which has very large corky wings.

Where does it grow? How do we grow it?

Euonymus is tolerant of most soils and will grow anywhere in New York. Plant them 10 feet apart, or 3 feet for hedges.

What are its primary problems?

The euonymus twigs become brittle in the winter and may break from ice and snow. Euonymus Scale may be a problem. Also, crown gall is a common disease problem but is seldom fatal.

Previous Next

Copyright, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University.