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EUONYMUS americanus

Image of Euonymus americanus

James H. Schutte

Family

Celastraceae

Botanical Name

EUONYMUS americanus

Plant Common Name

American Euonymus, Bursting Heart, Strawberry Bush

General Description

Shade tolerance, adaptability, and an abundant fall crop of showy red fruits are among the valuable attributes of this underused deciduous shrub native to the eastern United States. Resembling warty red strawberries, the ripe fruits split open to reveal orange-red seeds. The red "husks" remain long after the seeds have fallen. Inconspicuous yellow-white flowers precede the fruits in early summer. A relatively sparsely branched, waist-high shrub bears oval, mid-green leaves that turn yellow to red-burgundy in fall. The slender wiry green stems provide moderate winter interest.

Grow strawberry bush in full sun to partial shade in any fertile but well-draining soil. As it never attains a dense canopy of leaves, it is best incorporated into a mixed shrub border or woodland planting where other plants will team nicely and complement the fruits.

There are potential health concerns regarding parts of this plant, for further information, visit http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/poison/Euonysp.htm .

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    6 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade, Full Shade

  • Height

    3'-6' / 0.9m - 1.8m

  • Width

    3'-6' / 0.9m - 1.8m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer

  • Native To

    Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic United States, Southeastern United States, South-Central United States

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    White, Ivory

  • Fruit Color

    Red, Orange, Magenta

  • Fruit Color Modifier

    Bicolor

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Yellow, Red, Burgundy

  • Bark Color

    Green, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    No