• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Euonymus europaeus



© RHS 1997

  • Other common names spindle
    spindle tree

    cat tree
    common spindle tree
    gatten tree
    gatter tree
    louseberry tree
    prick timber

    see more
  • Synonyms Euonymus bulgaricus

  • Family Celastraceae

  • Genus Euonymus can be deciduous or evergreen shrubs or small trees, often with fine autumn colour, and small flowers followed by colourful fruits

  • Details E. europaeus is a spreading deciduous shrub to 3m, with narrowly ovate leaves turning yellow or red in autumn, and panicles of small yellow flowers followed by 4-lobed red fruits which split to reveal orange seeds

  • Plant range Europe to W Asia


  • Foliage Deciduous

  • Habit Bushy

  • Toxicity All parts may cause severe discomfort if ingested

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)




  • Full Sun

  • Partial Shade

  • Aspect South-facing or North-facing or West-facing or East-facing

  • Exposure Exposed or Sheltered


  • Chalk


  • Chalk


  • Chalk


  • Chalk


  • MoistureWell-drained, Moist but well-drained

  • SoilChalk, Clay, Sand, Loam

  • pHAcid, Alkaline, Neutral


  • Ultimate height 2.5-4 metres

  • Ultimate spread 2.5-4 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 10-20 years

How to grow

Cultivation Grow in well-drained soil in sun or partial shade.

Propagation Propagate by seed or semi-hardwood cuttings

Suggested planting locations and garden types Hedging & Screens Low Maintenance Cottage & Informal Garden Wildlife Gardens

How to care

Pruning Pruning group 1

Pests Prone to caterpillars and vine weevils

Diseases May be affected by powdery mildews

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