Euonymus fortunei - (Turcz.) Hand.-Maz.
Winter Creeper
Other Common Names: winter creeper
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Euonymus fortunei (Turcz.) Hand.-Maz. (TSN 27950)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.155063
Element Code: PDCEL05050
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Bittersweet Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Celastrales Celastraceae Euonymus
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Euonymus fortunei
Taxonomic Comments: The spelling 'Euonymus' (rather than the original 'Evonymus') for the genus name has been nomenclaturally conserved (International Code of Botanical Nomenclature, Tokyo edition, 1994, p. 260), which also makes clear (by citing the name of the type species as E. europaeus) that the gender of the genus name is masculine. This usage is followed here, contrary to Kartesz checklist (1994). Most 20th-century botanical and floristic works use the 'Euonymus' spelling. Further discussion of the gender of this genus name is provided by J. Paclt, Taxon 47: 473-474, 1998. LEM 18Jan95 & 3Jun98.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: GNR
Global Status Last Changed: 22Mar1994
Rounded Global Status: GNR - Not Yet Ranked
Nation: United States
National Status: NNA
Nation: Canada
National Status: NNA (12Oct2016)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (SNA), Delaware (SNA), District of Columbia (SNA), Illinois (SNA), Indiana (SNA), Kentucky (SNA), Massachusetts (SNR), Michigan (SNA), Missouri (SNA), New Jersey (SNA), New York (SNA), Ohio (SNA), Pennsylvania (SNA), Rhode Island (SNA), Virginia (SNA), West Virginia (SNA)
Canada Ontario (SNA)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The distribution shown may be incomplete, particularly for some rapidly spreading exotic species.

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States ALexotic, DCexotic, DEexotic, ILexotic, INexotic, KYexotic, MA, MIexotic, MOexotic, NJexotic, NYexotic, OHexotic, PAexotic, RIexotic, VAexotic, WVexotic
Canada ONexotic

Range Map
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Ecology & Life History Not yet assessed
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Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank)
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Disclaimer: While I-Rank information is available over NatureServe Explorer, NatureServe is not actively developing or maintaining these data. Species with I-RANKs do not represent a random sample of species exotic in the United States; available assessments may be biased toward those species with higher-than-average impact.

I-Rank: High/Medium
Rounded I-Rank: High
I-Rank Reasons Summary: Euonymus fortunei forms dense single-species mats where wildflowers once existed. This vine climbs trees and eventually kills the trees. Prevents regeneration and recruitment of ground flora, esp. spring ephemerals, shrubs and trees. Appropriates soil, moisture, nutrients, sunlight and space otherwise used by native species. Found in about 20 states in the eastern US in several types of forests including floodplain, mesic and dry-mesic. It is also found in natural openings, relatively undisturbed forests, and rocky bluffs. It tolerates sun, heavy shade, and most soil moisture conditions. Natural forest openings are subject to invasion. This plant is sold in trade. It spreads vegetatively and will resprout from any portion of root. This species can be controlled with hand-pulling or the cut stem treatment.
Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Medium
Subrank II - Current Distribution/Abundance: High
Subrank III - Trend in Distribution/Abundance: High/Medium
Subrank IV - Management Difficulty: Low/Insignificant
I-Rank Review Date: 22Jan2004
Evaluator: Killeffer, T.
Native anywhere in the U.S?
Native Range: China, NE Asia

Download "An Invasive Species Assessment Protocol: Evaluating Non-Native Plants for their Impact on Biodiversity". (PDF, 1.03MB)
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Screening Questions

S-1. Established outside cultivation as a non-native? YES
Comments: Can spread many miles from plantings since birds and other wildlife eat and disperse the seeds (Randall, 1996).

S-2. Present in conservation areas or other native species habitat? Yes
Comments: Natural forest openings are subject to invasion (Swearingen, 2002).

Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Medium

1. Impact on Ecosystem Processes and System-wide Parameters:Low significance
Comments: Appropriates soil, moisture, nutrients, sunlight and space otherwise used by native species (Swearingen, 2002).

2. Impact on Ecological Community Structure:High significance
Comments: Forms dense single-species mats where wildflowers once existed; vine climbs rocks and trees eventually killing the trees (Randall, 1996).

3. Impact on Ecological Community Composition:High significance
Comments: Dense mats and the use of moisture and nutrients prevent growth of native species (Swearingen, 2002). Prevents regeneration and recruitment of ground flora, esp. spring ephemerals, shrubs and trees (Rizzo, ????)

4. Impact on Individual Native Plant or Animal Species:Insignificant
Comments: No reports found to support this species has effects on particular individual native species.

5. Conservation Significance of the Communities and Native Species Threatened:High/Low significance
Comments: "Invades natural openings and relatively undisturbed forests" (Hutchinson, no date).

Subrank II. Current Distribution and Abundance: High

6. Current Range Size in Nation:High/Moderate significance
Comments: (Kartesz 1999). Found in about 20 states in the eastern US (Swearingen 2002).

7. Proportion of Current Range Where the Species is Negatively Impacting Biodiversity:High significance
Comments: Listed as an invader in the mid-atlantic (Swearingen 2002). Illinois views it as a problem (Hutchison, no date).

8. Proportion of Nation's Biogeographic Units Invaded:Moderate significance
Comments: Kartesz 1999 compared to TNC's modified Bailey's ecoregion with approximately 16 invaded ecoregions.

9. Diversity of Habitats or Ecological Systems Invaded in Nation:High significance
Comments: Several types of forests including floodplain, mesic and dry-mesic; natural openings and relatively undisturbed forests. Tolerates sun, heavy shade, and most soil moisture conditions (Hutchison, no date). Rocky bluffs (Randall 1996).

Subrank III. Trend in Distribution and Abundance: High/Medium

10. Current Trend in Total Range within Nation:Moderate significance
Comments: Still sold commercially but occupies most of its range.

11. Proportion of Potential Range Currently Occupied:Low significance
Comments: Based on required rainfall and current distribution (USDA Plants database 2003, Kartesz 1999).

12. Long-distance Dispersal Potential within Nation:High significance
Comments: Sold in trade. Fruits/seeds dispersed by wildlife and water (Swearingen 2002).

13. Local Range Expansion or Change in Abundance:High/Low significance
Comments: Sold in trade. Fruits/seeds dispersed by wildlife and water (Swearingen 2002).

14. Inherent Ability to Invade Conservation Areas and Other Native Species Habitats:Moderate significance
Comments: Natural openings and relatively undisturbed forests (Hutchison, no date).

15. Similar Habitats Invaded Elsewhere:High/Low significance
Comments: In Canada (Kartesz 1999).

16. Reproductive Characteristics:Low significance
Comments: Spreads vegetatively and will resprout from any portion of root (Remaley 1998)

Subrank IV. General Management Difficulty: Low/Insignificant

17. General Management Difficulty:Low significance
Comments: Hand-pulling making sure to get all the root for small infestations. Cutting stems from trees will prevent fruit formation (typically only the climbing stems produce flowers/fruit) with immediate herbicide application to ground portion (Randall, 1996).

18. Minimum Time Commitment:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: Hand-pulling is labor intensive and should only be used for small infestations. Subsequent foliar applications may be needed for areas where cut stems were treated (Remaley 1998)

19. Impacts of Management on Native Species:Insignificant
Comments: Species can be controlled with hand-pulling or the cut stem treatment. Foliar applications can be used at times of the year when native species are not present. May also use an herbicide specifically for broad leaf species if native grasses are present (Remaley 1998).

20. Accessibility of Invaded Areas:High/Moderate significance
Comments: Invades natural openings and relatively undisturbed forests (Hutchison, no date). Fruits dispersed by birds and other wildlife. "Escapes from neglected gardens and is carried by water to undisturbed forest and riparian areas" (Remaley, 1998). Rocky bluffs (Randall, 1996).
Authors/Contributors
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Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2016. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 12. Magnoliophyta: Vitaceae to Garryaceae. Oxford Univ. Press, New York. xxiv + 603 pp.

  • Hutchison, M. No date. Vegetation Management Guideline - Wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei (Turcz.) Hand.-Mazz.) Also called Climbing Euonymus. Adapted from written material from The Nature Conservancy for the Illinois Nature Preserves Commissioin. online - http://www.conservation.state.mo.us/nathis/exotic/vegman/twentyse.htm (accessed 2003).

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1996. Species distribution data at state and province level for vascular plant taxa of the United States, Canada, and Greenland (accepted records), from unpublished data files at the North Carolina Botanical Garden, December, 1996.

  • Randall, J.M. and J. Marinelli (eds.) 1996. Invasive plants: weeds of the global garden. Brooklyn Botanic Garden, New York.

  • Stewart, W.G. and M.J. Oldham. 1990. Additions to "A Guide to the Flora of Elgin County, Ontario" for 1989. The Cardinal 139:21-24.

  • Swearingen, J., K. Reshetiloff, B. Slattery, and S. Zwicker. 2002. Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas. National Park Service and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 82 pp.

  • Swink, F., and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region. Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.

  • USDA, NRCS. 2004. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 (http://plants.usda.gov) . National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

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