Euonymus lucidus (Spindle Tree)
Species: E. pendulus
Binomial name: Euonymus lucidus
Synonym: Euonymus pendulus
Common name: Spindle Tree
Euonymus pendulus is a species of Euonymus native to the Himalaya region, from Pakistan east to northern Assam It is an evergreen tree, which grows to be 6–10 m tall with a dense, spreading crown and corky grey bark. The leaves are glossy green and often bronze-red when newly opened. They are lanceolate to narrow ovate, 5–12 cm long and 2–3 cm broad, with a serrated margin.
The flowers are small, with four white petals approximately 4 mm long. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by insects. The fruit produced by the plant are three or four-lobed berry-like capsules which are 15 mm broad. Each contains three or four seeds surrounded by fleshy orange-red arils.
In its country of origin the bark is used as a purgative and the fruit is used as a cosmetic. The wood is white, soft, close grained and is used for carving and fuel. The wood was traditionally used for the making of spindles for spinning wool; this use is the origin of the English name of the tree.
Photographed at Pukekura Park, New Plymouth.
The trunk with corky bark
The upper surface of a leaf.
The under surface of a leaf.