Herb: Winter Creeper

Latin name: Euonymus fortunei

Synonyms: Euonymus radicans

Family: Celastraceae (Bittersweet Family)

Medicinal use of Winter Creeper:

Plants contain the anticancer compound dulcitol. The plant is used in gynaecological applications.

Description of the plant:


4.5 m
(15 feet)


Habitat of the herb:

Woods and thickets in low mountains all over Japan.

Other uses of Winter Creeper:

A good evergreen ground cover plant. The sub species E. fortunei radicans and E. fortunei carrieri are particularly useful, other forms to use include "Emerald and Gold", "Emerald Gaiety", "Coloratus", "Dart's Carpet" and "Kewensis. Plants can be grown as a low hedge, the varieties "Emerald and Gold" and "Variegatus" are normally used. They are very tolerant of clipping.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed requires 8 - 12 weeks warm followed by 8 - 16 weeks cold stratification and can then be sown in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 - 8cm long taken at a node or with a heel, July/August in a frame. Very easy.

Cultivation of Winter Creeper:

Woods and thickets in low mountains all over Japan.

Known hazards of Euonymus fortunei:

Although no records of toxicity have been seen for this species, a number of plants in this genus are suspected of being poisonous and so some caution is advised.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.