1. Euonymus fortunei (Turczaninow) Handel-Mazzetti, Symb. Sin. 7: 660. 1933. (as Evonymus).
Wintercreeper, climbing euonymus Wintercreeper, climbing euonymus
Elaeodendron fortunei Turczaninow, Bull. Soc. Imp. Naturistes Moscou 36: 603. 1863 (as Elaeodendrum), name conserved; Euonymus hederaceus Champion ex Bentham, name rejected; E. kiautschovicus Loesener
Vines to 20 m. Stems prostrate to erect, <climbing by adventitious roots>; young branches terete, not corky winged. Leaves persistent; petiole 5–10 mm; blade lanceolate, ovate, elliptic, to broadly obovate-elliptic, 1–9 × 0.5–5 cm, base cuneate, acute, obtuse, to rounded, margins crenate-serrate, apex obtuse, acute, or acuminate. Inflorescences axillary, 5–15-flowered. Flowers: sepals 4; petals 4, white to pale green, oblong, 3–4 × 2–3 mm; stamens 4; ovary smooth. Capsules straw colored to orange, globose, 6–8 mm diam., unlobed or very shallowly 4-lobed, lobes clearly connate, surface smooth. Seeds ellipsoid, 4–6 mm; aril orange. 2n = 32.
Flowering summer; fruiting summer–fall. Moist woods, stream banks, riverbanks, disturbed areas; 0–300 m; introduced; Ont.; Ala., Ark., Conn., Del., D.C., Ga., Ill., Ind., Kans., Ky., Md., Mass., Mich., Miss., Mo., N.J., N.C., Ohio, Pa., R.I., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Va., Wis.; e Asia.
Euonymus fortunei is widely planted as an ornamental and has escaped widely. Plants grow horizontally until they encounter a vertical surface like a rock, wall, or tree, which they then climb using adventitious roots. They sometimes form dense mats over other vegetation, excluding other plants.