Vascular – Exotic
Trees & Shrubs - Dicotyledons
The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.
Much-branched glabrous, deciduous shrub or small tree up to 6m high. Bark grey & smooth. Twigs green, quadrangular, smooth, not winged. Leaves opposite, ovate-lanceolate to elliptic, acute or acuminate, crenate, usually turning red in autumn, 2–10cm long; petiole 6–12mm long. Cymes 2–15-flowered, pedunculate, dichotomous. Buds greenish, usually 4-angled; flowers usually 4-merous, 8–10mm diam.; petals greenish-yellow, generally oblong, widely separated. Capsule 4-lobed, deep pink, exposing the bright orange aril after opening. (- Webb et. al., 1988)
March to May
Perennial. Long-lived seed bank - more than a year (Carol West, pers. comm.). The species is gynodioecious (2 sexual morphs: 1 strictly female and the other, termed male, producing some seed) with both sexes established in wild populations (Webb et al., 1988). Birds (ibid.).
Reason for introduction
euonymus: One possible explanation is this genus is named after Euonyme, the mother of the Furies (vengeance deities in Greek mythology) because of the irritating properties of this plant. Another explanation is that the name is simply from the Greek eu ‘good’ and onoma ‘name’, meaning ‘a name of good repute’.
All parts of this tree are poisonous including the pink fruits with orange seed.