winter creeper USDA PLANTS Symbol: EUFO5
U.S. Nativity: Exotic
Habit: Vines Shrub or Subshrub
Euonymus fortunei (Turcz.) Hand.-Maz.

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Taxonomic Rank: Magnoliopsida: Celastrales: Celastraceae
Synonym(s): climbing euonymus
Native Range: China (REHD); cent. & west. China (BAIL);

Winter creeper is an evergreen, woody vine that invades forests throughout the eastern United States. The plant can be a small shrub, growing in mats along the forest floor to 3 ft. (0.9 m) in height, or a vine climbing trees to heights of 40-70 ft. (12.2-21.3 m). The opposite leaves are dark green, oval, slightly toothed, glossy, thick, < 1 in. (2.5 cm) long and often with silvery-white venation. The young stems are green, becoming light gray and corky with age. Flowers are inconspicuous, yellow-green, five petaled and develop in mid-summer. Plants usually only flower when climbing and almost never when trailing along the ground. Fruit are pinkish-red capsules that open to show orange seeds. Winter creeper aggressively invades open forests, forest margins, and openings. The dense ground cover often resulting from an infestation can displace native understory species and restrict tree seedling establishment. Winter creeper can also smother and kill shrubs and small trees. Winter creeper is native to Asia and was first introduced into the United States in 1907 as an ornamental ground cover plant.

Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources

Selected Images from Invasive.orgView All Images at Invasive.org


Foliage; May
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); May
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Foliage; May
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org
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Feature(s); Stem with small patch of aerial roots in May
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Feature(s); Stem with distinctive buds in May
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Feature(s); May
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Stem(s); December
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Foliage;
Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Plant(s);
Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Foliage; with fruit
Keith Langdon, National Park Service, Bugwood.org
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EDDMapS Distribution:
This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts and records obtained from USDA Plants Database. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org
 


State(s) Where Reported invasive.
Based on state level agency and organization lists of invasive plants from WeedUS database.

U.S. National Parks where reported invasive:
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park (Maryland, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia)
Colonial National Historical Park (Virginia)
Great Smoky Mountains National Park (North Carolina & Tennessee)
Petersburg National Battlefield (Virginia)
Rock Creek National Park (Washington, D.C.)
Stones River National Battlefield (Tennessee)



Invasive Listing Sources:
Faith Campbell, 1998
Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council
Hoffman, R. & K. Kearns, Eds. 1997. Wisconsin manual of control recommendations for ecologically invasive plants. Wisconsin Dept. Natural Resources, Bureau of Endangered Resources. Madison, Wisconsin. 102pp.
Indiana Native Plant and Wildflower Society
Jil M. Swearingen, Survey of invasive plants occurring on National Park Service lands, 2000-2007
John Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Survey of TNC Preserves, 1995.
Kentucky Exotic Pest Plant Council
Maryland Cooperative Extension Service.  2003. Invasive Plant Control in Maryland. Home and Garden Information Center, Home and Garden Mimeo HG88. 4 pp.
Maryland Department of Natural Resources, 1994
Mid-Atlantic Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2005
Missouri Department of Conservation,
South Carolina Exotic Pest Plant Council
Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council
Virginia Invasive Plant Species List