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Large-leaved Spindle

Euonymus latifolius

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Celastraceae (Staff Tree)
Deciduous shrub
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
6 metres tall
Gardens, hedgerows, mountains, roadsides, woodland.

White, 5 petals
Small clusters of greenish-white flowers, up to 1cm in diameter. Similar in appearance to the Spindle Tree (Euonymus europaeus) but Large-leaved Spindle has got 5 petals per flower rather than 4. Pollinated by insects.
Striking orangish-red, winged fruit. The seeds ripen in September.
Dark green, oval, pointed leaves, more abruptly pointed than those of the similar looking Spindle Tree (Euonymus europaeus).
Other Names:
Broad-leaved Euonymus, Broad-leaved Spindle, Large-fruited Spindle Tree.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Euonymus latifolius, also known as broad-leaved spindle or broad-leaved euonymus, is a species of flowering shrub or small tree in the Celastraceae family. It is native to eastern Asia, specifically in China and Japan. It is an evergreen shrub or small tree that can grow to a height of 3-6m. It has broad, glossy dark green leaves, and small inconspicuous flowers, followed by small red or orange-red fruits. It is often used in landscaping and horticulture as an ornamental shrub and planted as a hedge or specimen plant. It is tolerant of a wide range of soils and can grow in both full sun and partial shade. It is also known for its hardiness and resistance to pests and diseases.


Large-leaved Spindle, or Euonymus latifolius, is a beautiful and versatile plant that can be found in many parts of the world. It is a member of the Euonymus genus, which includes more than 170 species of shrubs, trees, and climbers. Euonymus latifolius is native to East Asia and can be found in China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. This plant is a great addition to any garden, as it is easy to grow, low-maintenance, and has many ornamental features.


The Large-leaved Spindle is a large, evergreen shrub that can grow up to 4 meters in height and 2 meters in width. It has thick, glossy leaves that are leathery and broad, measuring up to 20 cm long and 10 cm wide. The leaves are dark green, with a shiny surface and a wavy margin. In autumn, the plant produces small, greenish-white flowers that are followed by bright pink or red berries, which are attractive to birds.

Growing conditions

The Large-leaved Spindle is a hardy plant that can grow in a variety of conditions. It prefers moist, well-drained soil and partial shade, but it can also tolerate full sun or heavy shade. This plant is also resistant to pests and diseases, making it an easy choice for gardeners.


Large-leaved Spindle is a versatile plant that can be used in many ways in the garden. It can be grown as a hedge, a specimen plant, or as part of a mixed border. It can also be grown in a container, which makes it a great choice for balconies and patios. The plant's bright red berries are a great attraction for birds, making it a good choice for a wildlife garden. The wood of the plant is also used in woodcraft, as it is hard and durable.


There are several cultivars of Euonymus latifolius, each with its unique features. For example, Euonymus latifolius 'Pendulus' has a weeping habit and is often used as a ground cover, while Euonymus latifolius 'Variegatus' has variegated leaves, which are cream and green.

The Large-leaved Spindle is an excellent plant to add to any garden. It is low-maintenance, hardy, and has many ornamental features. Whether grown as a hedge, a specimen plant, or part of a mixed border, it is sure to provide year-round interest and attract wildlife to the garden.

More Information

Aside from its ornamental value, the Large-leaved Spindle also has some medicinal uses. In traditional Chinese medicine, the bark and leaves of the plant are used to treat coughs, asthma, and digestive problems. The plant is believed to have anti-inflammatory and antitumor properties.

It is important to note, however, that the plant contains toxic compounds that can be harmful if ingested in large quantities. The bright red berries, in particular, are highly toxic to humans and can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It is essential to keep the plant away from children and pets and to wear gloves when handling it.

In terms of propagation, the Large-leaved Spindle can be propagated from cuttings or by layering. Cuttings taken in late summer or early autumn should be around 10-15 cm long and should be planted in a well-drained rooting medium. The plant can also be propagated by layering, where a stem is bent down to the ground and covered with soil until it develops roots.

The Large-leaved Spindle is a versatile and hardy plant that is easy to grow and has many ornamental and medicinal uses. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced gardener, it is a great addition to any garden and is sure to provide year-round interest and beauty.

In addition to its ornamental and medicinal uses, the Large-leaved Spindle also has cultural significance in East Asian countries. In China, for example, the plant is known as "wuhuaji" and is regarded as a symbol of long life, happiness, and prosperity. It is often planted in gardens and courtyards to bring good luck and fortune.

Furthermore, the Large-leaved Spindle has been used for centuries in East Asia for its durable and strong wood, which is highly valued in woodworking. The wood is used to make furniture, decorative objects, and musical instruments. In Japan, the wood is used to make the shafts of traditional kendo swords.

The Large-leaved Spindle is a fascinating and useful plant that has a lot to offer in terms of beauty, cultural significance, and practical uses. Whether you are interested in gardening, woodworking, or traditional medicine, this plant is sure to pique your interest and provide you with many opportunities to explore and appreciate its many features.

Another interesting feature of the Large-leaved Spindle is its ability to adapt to different growing conditions. The plant can grow in a variety of soils, including acidic, alkaline, and neutral soils, and can tolerate a range of pH levels. It is also drought-tolerant and can survive periods of water scarcity, making it a great choice for dry regions.

In terms of its ecological impact, the Large-leaved Spindle is considered to be an invasive species in some areas. In New Zealand, for example, the plant is classified as a noxious weed and is actively managed to prevent it from spreading. In its native range, however, the plant is an important component of forest ecosystems, providing habitat and food for wildlife.

To minimize the risk of the Large-leaved Spindle becoming invasive, it is important to plant it in areas where it is not likely to escape and establish itself in natural areas. Gardeners should also be careful not to dispose of the plant's seeds or cuttings in natural areas, where they could germinate and grow.

In conclusion, the Large-leaved Spindle is a fascinating and versatile plant that has many interesting features and uses. Whether you are interested in gardening, woodworking, traditional medicine, or simply appreciate the beauty of nature, this plant is sure to capture your attention and provide you with many opportunities to explore and appreciate its many qualities.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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