NPSOT Logo
npsot_bluebonnet_full_color

Wahoo

Euonymus atropurpureus

Other common name(s):

Burningbush, Spindle Tree, Eastern Wahoo, Burning Bush

Family:

Celastraceae (Bittersweet Family)

Plant Ecoregion Distribution Map

Southern Texas Plains, Texas Blackland Prairies
Semiarid Edwards Bajada
Floodplains and Low Terraces1, Northern Blackland Prairie

Plant Characteristics

Growth Form

Shrub

Height

15
to
25
ft.

Spread

10
to
15
ft.

Leaf Retention

Deciduous

Lifespan

Perennial

Habitat and Care Requirements

Soil Type(s)

Rich, Moist

Light Requirement

Sun, Part Shade, Shade

Water Requirement

Medium, High

Native Habitat

Woodland, Wetland or Riparian

Bloom and Attraction

Bloom Color

Purple

Bloom Season

Spring, Summer

Seasonal Interest

Fruit, Fall Color

Wildlife Benefit

Birds

Maintenance

Makes an excellent understory small tree or tall bush. Although it is shade-tolerant, it does well in full sun. Plants are susceptible to Euonymus scale and crown gall, and need protection from deer and rabbits. Root suckers may be removed to if a single-stemmed tree is preferred. It makes an excellent substitute for invasive, non-native Burning Bush shrubs. Propagation: Semi-hardwood cuttings, Seed.

Comments

Blooms March-August. Large, clumping, deciduous shrub which can develop into a small tree. Twigs are lime-green with corky lines. Leaves are elliptical, with a pointed at the tip, and a finely serrated margin. They are green above, paler, with fine hairs beneath, and turn bright red in the fall. Small purple flowers grow in clusters called cymes and are succeeded by showy fruits. The lobed pods split mid-autumn to reveal scarlet-coated seeds which hang on in winter. Birds eat fruit.
Previous Scientific Name(s): Euonymus atropurpurea

References

1) https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=27948#null, 2) http://bonap.net/TDC/Image/Map?taxonType=Species&taxonId=7543&locationType=County&mapType=Normal, 3) https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=EUAT5, 4) Griffith, Bryce, Omernick & Rodgers (2007). Ecoregions of Texas, 5) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euonymus_atropurpureus, 6) https://greatplainsnursery.com/product/eastern-wahoo-2/, 7) https://www.prairiemoon.com/euonymus-atropurpureus-eastern-wahoo#panel-planting
Receive the latest native plant news

Subscribe To Our News

Subscribe to emails from the Native Plant Society of Texas.

Receive emails when new posts are added 4-6 times per month, or receive an email once a month.

Or join us on social media