Common Spindle Tree
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon:
- Deciduous shrub or small tree, 12-30 ft (3.5-9 m) tall and 10-25 ft (3-7.5 m) wide, narrow, upright, broadening with age, rounded outline. Branches green with corky stripes. Leaves simple, opposite, elliptic-ovate to lance-oblong to obovate, 2.5-9 cm long and 0.8-3 cm wide, acuminate tip, wedge-shaped base, margin crenate-serrate, dull dark green and glabrous (without hairs), selections may have good fall color. Flowers in small clusters of 3-5, 4-petaled, yellow-green, about 1 cm wide, not showy. Fruit pink to red, to 2 cm wide, 4-lobed, opening to expose orange seeds in fall, showy. Seeds are considered poisonous; they contain a number of toxins, including cardiotoxic glycosides.
- Sun to part shade. Soil adaptable, if well-drained. Tough plant, can be grown as a hedge.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 4 Native to Europe and western Asia. Birds may spread the seeds and can become invasive and weedy.
Several selections available, less so in western US, some of the more common cultivars include:
- ‘Aldenhamensis’ - upright, vigorous, red fall color, fruit pink.
- ‘Atrorubens’ - green leaves turn purple in early summer, fruit dark pink to red
- ‘Red Ace’ - to 15 ft (4.5 m), orange-red fall color, fruit rose red, opening to show orange seeds.
- ‘Red Cap’ - (shown here) abundant fruit, bright red with orange seeds, similar or the same as 'Red Cascade'.
- europaeus: of Europe