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Strawberry Bush

Euonymus americanus

Other common name(s):

American Strawberry Bush, Brook Euonymus, Hearts-a-burstin, Bursting Heart, Wahoo

Family:

Celastraceae (Bittersweet Family)

Plant Ecoregion Distribution Map

Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes, Western Gulf Coastal Plain
Northern Humid Gulf Coastal Prairies
Flatwoods, Southern Tertiary Uplands

Plant Characteristics

Growth Form

Shrub

Height

5
to
6
ft.

Spread

3
to
4
ft.

Leaf Retention

Deciduous

Lifespan

Perennial

Habitat and Care Requirements

Soil Type(s)

Sand, Loam, Clay, Acid, Poor Drainage

Light Requirement

Part Shade, Shade

Water Requirement

Medium, High

Native Habitat

Woodland, Wetland or Riparian

Bloom and Attraction

Bloom Color

Green, Purple

Bloom Season

Spring, Summer

Seasonal Interest

Fruit, Fall Color, Forage, Nectar, Pollen, Larval Host

Wildlife Benefit

Caterpillars, Butterflies, Birds, Nectar Insects, Deer, Hummingbirds, Bees

Maintenance

Is found in wetland areas such as margins of swamps, shaded stream banks, and sloped wetlands. Although it grow in moist areas it is not a flood tolerant species. It will tolerate full shade, but fruits best with some sun for part of the day. Prone to suckering which can be grown as a hedge. Susceptible to Euonymus scale. NOTE: all of the plant parts are slightly toxic. Propagation: Semi-hardwood cuttings, Seed., Root division.

Comments

Blooms March-August. Light, airy form. Very upright lime-green branches, turn purple when exposed to the sun. Bright green oval leaves turn dark red in the fall. Small, pale green flowers, with purple stamens, grow from the axis of leaves. Fleshy fruits start turning red in summer then split open to reveal bright red seeds in the fall. Deer will eat leaves. Birds and small mammals eat the fruit. Provides nectar for bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Larval host: American Ermine Moth, Cecropia Silkmoth, White-marked Tussock Moth, and Currant Clearwing.
Previous Scientific Name(s): Synonym(s): Euonymus americana

References

1) Griffith, Bryce, Omernick & Rodgers (2007). Ecoregions of Texas. 2) Wasowski and Wasowski, Native Texas Plants Landscaping Region by Region, 1991, pg. 242. 3) https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=EUAM9. 4) https://portal.torcherbaria.org/portal/taxa/index.php?taxon=Euonymus+americanus&formsubmit=Search+Terms. 5) http://bonap.net/TDC/Image/Map?taxonType=Species&taxonId=7544&locationType=County&mapType=Normal. 6) https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=27947#null, 7) https://www.leavesforwildlife.com/product-page/wahoo-eastern-euonymus-americanus#:~:text=They%20turn%20red%20to%20maroon,%2C%20Edible%2C%20and%20Other%20Uses:, 8) https://www.npsmaryland.com/euonymus-americanus, 9) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euonymus_americanus#:~:text=However%2C%20Euonymus%20americanus%20is%20listed,beetles%2C%20flies%2C%20and%20ants.