Common Spindle Tree

There are many planted in Hither Wood this one is at the northern side planted in 2012.

Latin/Botanical Name: Euonymus europaeus

Range: Common through UK and most of Europe especially on Lime-rich soils

Height: to 9m

Uses: Spindle timber is creamy-white, hard and dense. It was used to make ‘spindles’ for spinning and holding wool (hence its name), as well as skewers, toothpicks, pegs and knitting needles Today, it is used to make high-quality charcoal for artists.

Description:  A small deciduous tree with smooth grey bark, twigs are green. Leaves are lanceolate, pointed and sharply toothed. Spindle is hermaphrodite, (flowers contains both male and female reproductive parts) and insect pollinated. Inflorescence is a branched cluster of pale green flowers with four petals. Fruits are bright pink and the capsule splits to reveal bright orange berries, which look a bit like popcorn.

Interesting Fact: The fruits were baked and powdered, and used to treat head lice or mange in cattle; both the leaves and fruit are toxic to humans.