Bill Johnson

Winter Creeper

Euonymus fortunei (Turkz.) Hand.-Maz.
Bittersweet family (Celastraceae)

Origin: China, Japan, Korea

Winter creeper, or creeping euonymus, is an evergreen perennial vine that was introduced as an ornamental groundcover.

Distribution and Habitat
Winter creeper has been reported to be invasive in natural areas in most of the states in the eastern half of the U.S. It can tolerate a broad range of environmental conditions ranging from full sun to deep shade, and acidic to basic and low nutrient soils, but it does not grow well in heavy wet soils.

Ecological Threat
Winter creeper is a vigorous vine that invades forest openings and margins. It grows across the ground, displacing herbaceous plants and seedlings and climbs trees high into the tree canopy by clinging to the bark. Forest openings, caused by wind, insects or fire are especially vulnerable to invasion.

Description and Biology

Prevention and Control
Do not plant this plant. A variety of mechanical and chemical methods are available for its management, including hand pulling, cutting and application of systemic herbicides (see Control Options).



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Last updated:11-Nov-2010