Name

Spindle Tree

Latin

Euonymus europaeus

Secret Meaning

Your charms are engraved on my heart

Alternative Names:

Skewerwood, Prickwood, Gatter, Gatten

Facts & Folkore:

This species of flowering plant is native to much of Europe, where it inhabits the edges of forest, hedges and gentle slopes. Introduced to North America, it has become an invasive species in some areas. Its capsular fruit ripens in autumn, and is red to purple or pink in colour! When ripe, the four lobes split open to reveal the orange seeds. European spindle wood is very hard, and can be cut to a sharp point; it was used in the past for making spindles for wool-spinning, ox goads and for butchers' skewers. Though parts of the plant have been used medicinally, the fruit is poisonous. Even breathing the sawdust from its wood, can be problematic because of the alkaloid compounds in the plant. The Latin name for Spindle is Fusus, and by some of the old writers this plant is called Fusanum and the Fusoria. Spindle is also one of the trees of the Ogham alphabet. It is not one of the Celtic Birth Tree Ogham, but one of the five extra Ogham.

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