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A small evergreen tree; young shoots not downy, but covered with a pale waxy substance. Leaves opposite, narrowly oval to lanceolate, slender-pointed, tapered more abruptly to the base, the margins regularly set with fine, simple, even teeth; 2 to 5 in. long, 3⁄4 to 11⁄2 in. wide; of firm leathery texture; of a rich shining red when young, becoming dark shining green with age; stalk 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 in. long. Flowers numerous, produced in May in cymes about 11⁄2 in. long; small, greenish and of no beauty. Fruit 1⁄2 in. wide, four-lobed; wings thin; aril orange.
Native of the Himalaya, where it is said to occur locally from Hazara to Assam, but to be nowhere common; introduced about 1850. It is not hardy near London, but succeeds well to the south and west, nowhere perhaps better than in the Channel Islands. A correspondent in Jersey writes: ‘Mine is quite a tall tree, lovely in the spring, when the whole of it is covered with blood-red young leaves.’ It is also common in Cornish gardens and has attained a height of 46 ft at Tregothnan.
This euonymus has been confused with E. fimbriatus Wall., a quite distinct species with deciduous leaves jaggedly or doubly toothed, and larger fruits 1 in. wide. E. pendulus Wall., under which E. lucidus appeared in previous editions, is a provisional name and has no standing under nomenclatural rules. The name E. lucidus was published in Prodr. Fl Nepal., p. 191 (1825).
The largest Cornish specimens measured are: Caerhays, 46 × 33⁄4 ft (1984) and Tregothnan, 41 × 43⁄4 ft (1985).