Euonymus microphyllus (Box Leafed Euonymous)
Everyone’s looking for substitute Box. This look similar (slightly shinier leaf) and it’s tolerant of shade. Useful plant. Reliable too. Slow growing. 3ft after 4 years. Please contact us for stock availability and sizes.
Hardiness level Amber
How much do we actually know about this plant? Is it a form of the well known Euonymus japonica that we know to be so salt and wind tolerant? Coastal yes but seaside - we're trying it out almost on the beach in Rye but its salt tolerance remains - to us - a bit of a mystery. We know it's pretty, clips well, is hardy, grows slowly and is shade tolerant. You can always tell if a clipped plant is shade tolerant by parting the crown and peering inside. If there are masses of leaves within, it's very shade tolerant. If it's bare or the leaves are dead within, it isn't even slightly shade tolerant. Why the mystery? Because, like everyone, we're desperately trying to find reasonable substitutes for box. Our beloved Box that we used to have so much of is currently going through an attempt by air born fungal disease (Box blight) and caterpillars (Box Tree caterpillars) to eradicate the entire species. It will pass, as epidemics always do but in the meantime all we can do is seek alternatives. We have many suggestions and this is probably the closest to a substitute. In some ways nicer (greener with bright new foliage) but the power of tradition is great and we've grown box for hedging and topiary for a very very long time. This plant seems happy on any soil, sun or shade and possibly with in a few metres of the sea. We'll get back to you on that one.
Propagated by cuttings in Italy.
N.B. When clipping several plants with the same tool, have a bucket containing a 5% bleach solution and swish your blades around for 30 seconds between plants to sterilise them. This will help avoid the chance of cross contamination of disease.
As with all woody plants, plant high, exposing as much of the taper at the base of the trunk as possible. Allowing soil to accumulate round the base of a tree can be fatal. Keep very well watered when first planted.
|Continent of Origin|