42. Euonymus japonicus Thunberg, Nova Acta Regiae Soc. Sci. Upsal. 3: 208. 1780.
冬青卫矛 dong qing wei mao
Euonymus sinensis Carrière (1883), not E. chinensis Loureiro (1790), nor Lindley (1826).
Evergreen shrubs or small trees, erect, to 3 m tall, sometimes dwarfed; branches gray-green to gray-brown, terete, glabrous, sturdy, twigs green to light green, glabrous, not evidently striate, especially when fresh. Petiole 3-10 mm; leaf blade leathery or thickly leathery, ovate, obovate, orbicular-ovate, or long ovate, (3-)5-10(-12) × (2-)3-5(-5.5) cm, base orbicular or semiorbicular, margin crenulate distally, nearly entire proximally, apex orbicular or semiorbicular; lateral veins 6-8 pairs, slightly visible or unclear, especially when dry. Cymes usually axillary, sometimes terminal, many branched with many flowers; peduncle up to 8 cm, sub-branches 2-4 cm; pedicel 4-7 mm. Flowers 4-merous, 5-6 mm in diam.; sepals nearly orbicular; petals green or yellowish green, sometimes cream, nearly orbicular. Capsule globose or subglobose, brown or yellow-brown to red-brown, 6-9(-12) mm in diam., 4-lobed. Seeds 2 per locule, dark brown, globose; aril orange-red. Fl. Apr-Aug, fr. Aug-Jan.
Cultivated, especially in gardens and arboreta; near sea level to 1400 m. Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Liaoning, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Taiwan (Lan Yu), Xinjiang, Yunnan, Zhejiang [native to Japan; cultivated in Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Korea, Laos, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam; also cultivated in Africa, Europe, North America, Oceania, South America].
This species is a native of Japan, and it is from here that the cultivated form was introduced to the world. Euonymus japonicus, especially in the cultivated condition, is very similar to E. fortunei. The native species differs by having an erect habit vs. climbing or procumbent in E. fortunei. Ding Hou used the name E. japonicus (Fl. Males., Ser. 1, Spermat. 6: 252. 1963) to represent the taxa in S and SE Asia; however, it is E. fortunei that is native to this region, while E. japonicus is only cultivated in the area.