Description from Flora of China
Elaeodendron fortunei Turczaninow, Bull. Soc. Imp. Naturalistes Moscou 36: 603. 1863, nom. cons. prop.; Euonymus fortunei var. acuminatus F. H. Chen & M. C. Wang; E. fortunei var. patens (Rehder) Handel-Mazzetti; E. hederaceus Champion ex Bentham; E. japonicus Thunberg var. acutus Rehder; E. japonicus var. chinensis Pampanini; E. japonicus var. radicans Miquel; E. kiautschovicus Loesener; E. kiautschovicus var. patens (Rehder) Loesener; E. patens Rehder; E. radicans (Miquel) Siebold ex Handel-Mazzetti var. alticola Handel-Mazzetti; E. wensiensis J. W. Ren & D. S. Yao.
Evergreen subshrubs, ascending or procumbent on ground or rock, trees sometimes dwarfed, to 10 m tall; branches and twigs rounded, sometimes striate, usually brown or green-brown. Leaves densely arranged on branches; petiole 2-9 mm, sometimes sessile; leaf blade variously ovate or ovate-elliptic, 2-5.5 × 2-3.5 cm, glabrous, base nearly truncate, at times ± cuneate, margin crenulate to serrate, apex obtuse to acute; lateral veins 4-6 pairs, invisible. Peduncle usually with few flowers; pedicel usually less than ca. 5 mm. Flowers 4-merous, ca. 5 mm in diam.; sepals semirotund; petals nearly orbicular, greenish or whitish. Capsule brown to red-brown, 5-6 mm in diam. Aril red. Fl. Apr-Jul, fr. Sep-Dec.
This is the most common and widespread species in the genus. It is also the most complex and polymorphic species in E, S, and SE Asia, and can be confused with Euonymus japonicus, E. theifolius, or E. vagans. Numerous taxa have been named within the E. fortunei complex but many of these refer to cultivated plants and are best treated as cultivars.
Cao and Ma (Taxon 55: 233. 2006) proposed the name Elaeodendron fortunei Turczaninow (1863) for conservation against the senior taxonomic synonym Euonymus hederaceus Champion ex Bentham (Hooker’s J. Bot. Kew Gard. Misc. 3: 333. 1851). Conservation as proposed was subsequently recommended by the Committee for Vascular Plants (Brummitt, Taxon 56: 1291. 2007).
Common in woodlands, scrub, and forests, often cultivated in gardens; near sea level to above 3400 m. Anhui, Fujian, Hebei, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Liaoning, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Xinjiang, Yunnan, Zhejiang [India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Myanmar, Pakistan (?cultivated), Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam; cultivated in Africa, Europe, North America, Oceania, South America].