A common shrub of which there are many varieties and both evergreen and deciduous. Most of the evergreen varieties are grown for their colourful, strongly coloured foliage and these are the fortunei cultivars. Illustrated above on the left is E.fortunei 'Harlequin' which is a low growing compact variety with a slight pink tinge to the leaves. On the right is the frequently grown E. fortunei 'Emerald n Gold' which is a really bright shrub which will light up a shady corner being tolerant of partial shade.
Euonymus are easy to grow and vary significantly in size depending on the variety. The like reasonably well drained soil and will grow in sun and partial shade, although the variegated varieties do better with more sun. Euonymus require no real pruning or maintenance and as such are maintenance free. Below are full sized images of two of the most commonly grown evergreen varieties, Euonymus fortunei 'Emerald 'n' Gold (right) and Silver Queen (center) illustrated as mature shrubs. If you are planting a mixed shrub border Euonymus is a good addition as they are so easy to grow and their variegation stands out even on gloomy days. The fortunei varieties are tough and will grow in an exposed site which makes them a useful garden shrub and they will also tolerate a very alkaline soil.
As with all variegated plants sometimes shoots and leaves grow without variation. If this should occur, cut the shoot out right back to the main shrub centre if necessary to maintain the variegation in the foliage.
For ease although this is the section on evergreen shrubs and most Euonymus are evergreen, there is a commonly grown deciduous variety illustrated top centre, Euonymus 'Red Cascade' which has strong autumn colour and berries. Euonymus is a versatile, easy to grow evergreen shrub, with some of the best variegated foliage of any garden shrub. They are often overlooked as a simple commonplace shrub but to do so would under estimate their garden value as a maintenance free garden shrub with lovely variegated foliage.
Euonymus are great planting companions as in the image left which is Euonymus, with a yellow flowering Rhododendron luteum, which is wonderfully scented and Aquilegia 'Swan Lavender' a brilliant bright spring combination.