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Native Tree



Euonymous europaeus



Another small tree more common on limestone soils though it is tolerant of a range of non-acid soils.

It shares its most common areas of distribution with the guelder rose.
It is an inconspicuous shrub with pale bark, smooth and pointed leaves, and small player pale flowers.

Young twigs are green and four sided. It is the fruits that are amazingly colourful with bright pink cases that split open to reveal hard orange seeds. It will grow from seed but may also be propagated by cuttings.

The hard pale wood was used for making spindles for spinning wheels and looms - hence the name.


Collect the brightly coloured fruits in autumn either by picking or gently shaking the tree.


Discard the pink fruit and gently rub off the orange seed coat by hand before sowing. This is tedious but means that seeds may be sown straight away, and germination is more reliable than after stratification. However, if you have a lot of seed and hand preparation is too time consuming, the seeds should be stratified for six months.


Sow immediately after collection or in March following stratification. Cover with a thin layer of coarse sand. Germination is extremely variable. Wait and hope! Propagation Spindle may also be propagated from cuttings although it is not very ready to root (see advice for holly).

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