Winter creeper (Euonymus fortunei)

Winter creeper Common Names: Climbing euonymus

Description: Introduced as an ornamental groundcover.

Habit: Evergreen, woody, clinging perennial vine; forms dense groundcover or shrub to 3 ft in height or climb 40-70 ft high vertical surfaces with the aid of aerial roots.

Leaves: Dark green or green-white variegated, glossy, opposite, thick, egg-shaped, 1 in - 2 1/2 in long, toothed margins with silvery veins; occurs in pairs.

Stems: Narrow, warty and have rootlets or trailing roots.

Flowers: Forms clusters, 5 parted, green-white flowers are produced on long stalks; blooms June through July.

Fruit and seeds: Flowers form small round pink-red capsules that split open to expose seeds with red-orange arils.

Habitat: Native to China, Japan and Korea. Found in areas of poor soils, full sun to dense shade, and a wide pH range; very versatile.

Reproduction: Spreads vegetatively with the help of lateral shoots produced along its long main branches and by new plants that emerge from rootlets also producing along the stem at short intervals.

Similar species: Native Partridge berry (Mitchella repens); the invasive Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica); and common periwinkle (Vinca minor).

Monitoring and rapid response: Grubbing is effective for small populations or environmentally sensitive areas. Juvenile plants can be hand-pulled when soil is moist. Wet all leaves thoroughly with one of the following herbicides in water with a surfactant (July to October for successive years); Repeatedly apply triclopyr aster or a glyphosate herbicide as a 4% solution in water with a surfactant, a less effective treatment that has no soil activity to damage surrounding plants. Early spring cutting and spraying effective.

Credits: The information provided in this factsheet was gathered from the U.S. Forest Service.

Individual species images that appear with a number in a black box are courtesy of the network ( photo author credits may not be included due to the small display size of the images and subsequent difficulty of reading the provided text. All other images appear courtesy of Google (

Common Name:

Winter creeper

Scientific Name:

Euonymus fortunei







USDA Symbol: