Beware the invasive spindletree

european spindletree

“Every garden should have one of these,” said the woman who gave me the small rooted shrub, a type of euonymus, she said. “You’ll love the fall foliage, and the gorgeous berries are great for arrangements–they last, too.”

She was right on all counts, including the “last” part. Make that multiply instead, and I mean the tree, not the berries–which are indeed gorgeous, as it turned out. In the fall, each four-segmented pod opens its velvety crimson arms to reveal a quartet of showy orange berries inside. It’s a colour combination hard to beat.

The shrub turned out to bear more resemblance to a triffid than a euonymus. One day it was behaving itself nicely in the front garden, the next it was leering in the front window. Continue reading