Yipes! Frost on the grass this morning and 28 degrees!

Well, that pretty much takes care of the flowers that were still in bloom in my yard.  Seems awfully early to be so cold.

Fits in, though, with piece I’m writing on nature in winter and here’s another small segment of it:

EUONYMUS WINTERCREEPER.

Winter isn’t all black and white and slushy gray. Not three blocks from my Swoyersville home this Euonymus Wintercreeper is eye catching with its shiny green foliage and colorful fruit.

Wintercreeper is native to China and was introduced to North America as an ornamental ground cover in 1907. It has escaped cultivation and, as pretty as it is, it’s considered invasive, since as a climbing woody vine it forms a dense cover, blocking out native vegetation. It can grow to an astounding 70 feet, climbing by means of small rootlets on the stems, like ivy.

Wintercreeper colonizes by vine growth and its pink-capsulated seeds spread by birds, small mammals, and water. If allowed to grow out of hand, the vine will spread over anything in its way, even overtopping trees.

Appearance
Euonymus fortunei is an evergreen perennial vine that was introduced as an ornamental groundcover. It is native to China, Japan, and Korea.
Foliage
Leaves are opposite, glossy, dark green, oval, slightly toothed, with light-colored veins, about 1-2.5 in. (2.5-6.4 cm) long.
Flowers
Flowers are small and greenish with five petals on long branched stalks.
Fruit
Fruits are small round pink-red capsules that split open to expose seeds with red-orange arils.
Ecological Threat
Euonymus fortunei is a vigorous vine that invades forest openings and margins. It grows across the ground, displacing herbaceous plants and seedlings and climbs trees high into the tree canopy by clinging to the bark. Forest openings, caused by wind, insects or fire are especially vulnerable to invasion. Euonymus fortunei has been reported to be invasive in natural areas in most of the states in the eastern half of the U.S. It can tolerate a broad range of environmental conditions ranging from full sun to deep shade, and acidic to basic and low nutrient soils, but it does not grow well in heavy wet soils. Look-alikes are the native Partridge berry (Mitchella repens) and the invasive Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) and common periwinkle (Vinca minor).

wintercreepernaps

Author: luzerne2112

As I get older -- and I'm 70 now -- I seem to find more and more that nature is the true source of peace, inspiration and, most of all, the truth the passeth understanding. Though my knowledge is sketchy and superficial, I wanted to share it while I can.

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