Japanese Spindle Tree

Also known as:
Japanese Spindleberry
Japan, China, Korea

General description

Much-branched, evergreen shrub or small tree <7m high tall. Oval, serrated, opposite leaves variegated (green to yellowy cream) in cultivation but revert to green when naturalised. Bunches of greenish-yellow flowers (Nov-Dec). Deep pink round fruit capsule turns bright orange after opening.

Stream margins, waste places, shrubland, forest margins, disturbed forest. Tolerates wide range of conditions.

Bird dispersed seeds.

Garden escape that invades forest margins.

Site management

Garden escape, commonly cultivated, wild plants often not traced to yellow-leaved parents. Local garden clearance recommended in vulnerable areas.

Recommended approaches

1. Pull out all small plants.
2. Cut and stump paint all year round (1g metsulfuron/1L or 100ml Tordon BK/1L or 100ml triclopyr/1L or 200ml glyphosate/1L).
3. Spray all year round (5g metsulfuron + 10ml penetrant/10L or 60ml triclopyr +10ml penetrant/10L).

Caution: when using any herbicide or pesticide PLEASE READ THE LABEL THOROUGHLY to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Similar species

rhamnus (evergreen buckthorn)
Rhamnus alaternus

The stems of evergreen buckthorn are purplish red and hairy as opposed to the green and hairless stems of Japanese spindle tree.

Search tags

RPMS status

Surveillance - Whole Region
National Pest Plant Accord species - nationwide
Japanese spindle tree - Main species image