The Bugwood Network

Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas

Swearingen, J., K. Reshetiloff, B. Slattery, and S. Zwicker. 2002. Plant Invaders of
Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas. National Park Service and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 82 pp.

Creeping Euonymus
James H. Miller
Creeping Euonymus
Euonymus fortunei

Creeping euonymus, or winter creeper, is an evergreen perennial vine in the bittersweet family (Celastraceae) that was introduced from China as an ornamental groundcover. It tolerates a variety of environmental conditions including full sun to deep shade, poor soils, and acidic to basic soils and is found in about 20 states in the eastern United States. Natural forest openings, caused by wind, insects or fire, are especially vulnerable to invasion by this plant. Creeping euonymus climbs trees and other vertical surfaces and grows vigorously across the ground, displacing native plants and appropriating soil, moisture, nutrients, sunlight and space that would otherwise be available to native species. It spreads vegetatively and by seed that is dispersed by wildlife and water.

Prevention and Control
A variety of mechanical and chemical methods are available for management of climbing euonymus, including hand pulling, cutting and application of systemic herbicides.

Native Alternatives
pipevine (Aristolochia macrophylla), crossvine (Bignonia capreolata), trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens), American wisteria (Wisteria frutescens)

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USDA Forest ServiceUSDA APHIS PPQThe Bugwood Network University of Georgia Bargeron, C.T., D.J. Moorhead, G.K. Douce, R.C. Reardon & A.E. Miller
(Tech. Coordinators). 2003. Invasive Plants of the Eastern U.S.:
Identification and Control. USDA Forest Service - Forest Health
Technology Enterprise Team. Morgantown, WV USA. FHTET-2003-08.