'Emerald Gaiety,' with its white and green variegation, is another. Moonshadow euonymus (Euonymus fortunei 'Moonshadow') has green and gold leaves, with the gold in the center and the green on the margins. As such, I tend to think of its coloration as an Emerald 'n' Gold euonymus (yet another choice if you desire bicolored leaves) "turned inside out"; on the latter, it is the gold that is on the edges of the leaves.
As you can see in this picture of Moonshadow euonymus, though, the green and gold color scheme isn't consistent (nor is it consistent in Emerald 'n' Gold euonymus, for that matter). The gold is strongest on the newest leaves, while it tends to fade to a creamy color on the older ones. Still, the creamy color is attractive in its own right; besides, there are usually plenty of new leaves to supply you with the golden color.
Moonshadow euonymus makes a better groundcover than does Emerald 'n' Gold, as it tends to stay shorter and spread out more horizontally. The outer branches bear a creamy yellow color, giving the overall plant a brighter appearance (as compared to Emerald 'n' Gold, whose outer branches are green). Both plants pick up a pink tinge when cold weather arrives, which boosts their value for winter interest.
Here's another comparison with Emerald 'n' Gold: in my experience, fewer of Moonshadow euonymus' new branches exhibit reversion (that is, they don't revert back to the plain green color of their parentage).
Of course, if you're a fan of classic rock, any mention of this ground cover's name will immediately call to mind the old Cat Stevens song, Moonshadow.
Facts About Growing Moonshadow Euonymus:
- Plant type: broadleaf evergreen shrub.
- Where you can grow it: planting zones 5-8.
- Growing conditions: full sun; well-drained, evenly moist soil of average fertility.
- Mature height: 2 feet.
- Spread at maturity: 4 feet.
- Care: prune it frequently to shape it (not fussy about when you prune it).
- General appearance and function: multi-branched and shaped like a hassock, its dense branching pattern discourages weed growth, thereby making it an effective ground cover.