|EUROPEAN SPINDLE TREE...|
|RED FRUITS INSIDE PINK HUSKS THAT BURST OPEN|
Almost all trees and shrubs are bearing fruit heavily this year, including a very unusual small tree in Fountain Garden Park (south entrance to Bayfield on route 13). It is the European spindle tree, Euonymus europaeus, in the Celastraceae Family. Its yellow flowers are relatively inconspicuous, but the fruit is absolutely unique and beautiful, what is called an aril, this one a pink, valvate husk surrounding a bright red fruit. In a good year such as this, the tree is loaded with the unusual, colorful fruits.
It is not a plant I would normally use in a landscape and it would be hard to obtain, but as a conversation piece or focal point it is hard to beat.
It is called "spindle tree" because its very hard wood was used to make the spindles on spinning wheels centuries ago. It is a close relative of the common burning bush, Euonymus alatus, and the native Euonymus americanus, the strawberry bush (so called because of its bright red fruits).