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Celastraceae, Euonymus europaeus ‘red cascade’, European spindle wood – Wisley Gardens, Surry, England

October 19, 2012

I caught this Euonymus europaeus in the prime of its color change at Wisley Gardens in Surry, England.

E. europaeus wood is very hard and strong. The common name Spindle wood refers to the use of this wood for making spindles to spin wool.

Although the fruit of E. europaeus is poisonous (due to the bright red/orange fruits, incidents of poisoning among children are relatively common), interestingly it contains theobromine, caffeine, and terpene alkaloids… Don’t let this tempt you, consumption can result in kidney failure possibly death.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 19, 2012 10:08:41 pm

    We just planted one of these beauties out in our side garden. It had been languishing in a pot for too long and needed its freedom. It had the most amazing autumn colouration this year and despite it not being edible (which is a plus when it comes to the native wildlife giving it a WIDE berth ;)) it deserves a place on Serendipity Farm and is just starting to come back into leaf :)

    • October 19, 2012 10:08:42 pm

      Do you have any dogwood species? There are some good edible dogwoods. Cornus kousa and cornus mas, to name two.

      • October 20, 2012 10:08:52 am

        We have Cornus capitata and just planted Cornus kousa and Cornus kousa rubrum. We grew a stack of Cornus capitata and gave them all away to our edible nursery mate when we were living in town. Lovely healthy little guys and he gave us special things that you simply can’t buy around here. Its good to befriend like minded people. He has a source of Actinidia arguta but his source is stingy and won’t give any material for grafting. It’s difficult to live somewhere that has stringant customs laws and that restricts you from importing plant material. Oh well…back to looking over peoples back fences when we walk the dogs…you would be AMAZED at how much stuff you can find that way along with learning what plants are what in the process :)

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