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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 12 | Celastraceae

6. Euonymus alatus (Thunberg) Siebold, Verh. Batav. Genootsch. Kunst. 12: 49. 1830. (as Evonimus).
[F I]

Oriental spindle-tree Oriental spindle-tree

Celastrus alatus Thunberg in J. A. Murray, Syst. Veg. ed. 14, 237. 1784; Euonymus alatus var. apterus Loesener

Shrubs 1–4(–7) m. Stems erect; young branches 4-angled, becoming corky winged. Leaves deciduous; petiole 0.5–4 mm; blade narrowly elliptic, 2.5–6 × 0.5–2.5 cm, base attenuate or cuneate, margins denticulate, apex acuminate. Inflorescences axillary, (1–)3(–7)-flowered. Flowers: sepals 4; petals 4, yellowish green or white, oblong, 2–3 × 1.5–2 mm; stamens 4; ovary smooth. Capsules purple-brown, obovoid, 8–10 × 5–15 mm, deeply 2–4-lobed to base or only 1 lobe developing, lobes nearly distinct, surface smooth. Seeds ellipsoid, 7–8 × 4–5 mm; aril yellow or orange. 2n = 64.

Flowering spring–fall; fruiting summer–fall. Roadsides, old fields, thickets, woodlands; 0–400 m; introduced; Ont.; Conn., Del., D.C., Ga., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Mo., Mont., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Pa., R.I., S.C., Utah, Vt., Va., W.Va., Wis.; e Asia.

The leaves of Euonymus alatus become bright red or reddish purple in fall, one of the reasons for its widespread use as an ornamental.


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