Euonymus fortunei var. radicans
Since introduction, winter creeper has invaded natural habitats of the eastern United States. Berries are consumed by birds. Like kudzu and other invasive vines, it climbs over native vegetation, shading it from the sun, and, consequentially kills the native plants. It also covers the ground in dense, shrubby mats which shade out native herbaceous vegetation.
Winter creeper is a woody vine but can also grow as a small shrub (3’ high). Its oval, serrated leaves (<1” long) have silvery veins. Its berries are pinkish and open up to reveal orange seeds. The leaves are serrated and lobed - with between 3 to 5 lobes per leaf. They are arranged alternately along the stem. Small greenish-yellow flowers (5 petals) bloom in midsummer on vines (but not on shrubs).
Fact Sheet: Winter Creeper
Photo credit: Keith Langdon, National Park Service, Bugwood.org
Photo Credit: Erv Evans