Spindle (so named because the wood was used to make spindles) is a fabulous hedging plant (or small tree within a hedgerow) because of its unique autumn colour scheme - with bright pink capsules which open to reveal orange fruits, and blazing red leaves. It often retains the fruits well into winter, even after the leaves have dropped, and looks spectacular in a sunny spot (but will tolerate partial shade). For the rest of the year, its a twiggy upright deciduous plant, with green pointed leaves which does well in all normal soils and situations - and will tolerate coastal positions and slightly wet sites. Its growth rate is average at about 45cm pa. It flowers in May/June and although the flowers are inconspicuous, they are nectar rich so very attractive to pollinating insects. Two important negatives to mention - the leaves and fruits are harmful if eaten and because the fruits are so spectacular, they can be attractive to children so this is not a good choice to make if there's any danger of children eating the fruits. Also, the plant can be a host to the aphids which attack beans and beets so you wouldn’t want this too near a vegetable garden or farm where these are grown.
Spindle
(Euonymus Europaeus)
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