H. Perennial & Old Fashioned Garden Plants & Flowers by John Wood
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Euonymus Japonicus Radicans Variegata - Hardy Perennial
Author: John Wood
Euonymus Japonicus Radicans Variegata Described.
Euonymus Japonicus Radicans Variegata - Variegated Rooting Spindle Tree; Nat. Ord. Celastraceæ.
It is probable that the genus Euonymus is more generally known than that of Celastrus, from which the order takes its name; besides, the latter is composed of unfamiliar genera, so it is more likely that the reader will not care about any reference to them; it may concern him more to know that the above somewhat long name belongs to a very dwarf hardy evergreen shrub, having a neat habit and very beautiful foliage. This variety is one of many forms which come under the name E. japonicus, none of which, however, have long been cultivated in this country, the date of the introduction of the type being 1804. The genus is remarkable for the number of its species having ornamental foliage, and not less so, perhaps, for the insignificance of their flowers. The species under notice (E. japonicus) in cultivation has proved sportive, which habit has been taken advantage of, whence the numerous forms, including the one I have selected for these remarks. Some of the Spindle Trees do not flower in this climate, and others, which do, produce no seed; these facts are in connection with the more finely leaf-marked sorts, and it may be inferred that such unfruitfulness arises from their hybrid nature or abnormal tendency, as seen in "sports."
Euonymus Japonicus Radicans Variegata
The typical form is a tree growing 20ft. high, producing small white flowers, but of the variegated kind under notice established specimens have ever failed to show the least sign of flowering, though otherwise well developed and of good habit. The leaves are nearly oval, ½in. to 1½in. long, sometimes oblong, sharply serrulated, of stout leathery substance, smooth, and much variegated in colour. The markings are mostly on and near the edges, and take the form of lines and marblings. The tints are a mixture of white, yellow, and pink, inclining to purple; these are variously disposed on a dark green ground. The arrangement of the leaves is crowded and panicled on the recent shoots, which are twice and thrice branched; from the shortness and twisted shape of the leaf stalks, the branchlets have a compressed appearance. The old stems are round, wiry, 9in. to 18in. long, prostrate, and emit roots like the ivy when they come in contact with suitable surfaces, whence the name "radicans." The habit of the shrub, from its dense and flattened foliage, fine colour, and persistent nature, together with its dwarfness and rooting faculty, all go to render it one of the finest rock shrubs for winter effect. The wetness of our climate only seems to make it all the brighter, and it is also without that undesirable habit of rooting and spreading immoderately.
It enjoys a sunny situation and enriched sandy loam. Where such conditions exist it may be planted with good effect as a permanent edging to walks or beds; as such it may be clipped once or twice a year, but I may add that it is worth the extra time required for pruning with a knife, as then the leaves are not cut in two and the outline is left less formal. By such treatment the foliage is kept thick to the base of the shrub. The summer prunings may be pricked into sandy loam in a shady part, where they will root and become useful stock for the following spring, or strong examples may be pulled to pieces of the desired size.
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