Fall color!
Spectacular Sumac!

Native plants!

High 56 F
Low  52 F

Euonymus americanus-American Strawberry bush or 'Hearts-a-burstin'

Much has been written concerning the winged Euonymus, Euonymus alatus.  This shrub has become a hallmark of fall with its' bright red foliage and its' presence along highways and in suburban areas.  Once used extensively by highway crews this plant is now on many states' invasive species lists.  It does seem to reseed freely under favorable conditions although my personal experience is that while I have three of these shrubs which were seedlings given to me by a friend whose plant had reseeded, I have never seen a seedling from this plant in the surrounding area.  Winged Euonymus was brought to this country in the 1860's as an ornamental shrub.  It is native to China, Japan and Korea.  It is hard to beat its' bright red foliage of autumn.  Less well know is the native Euonymus, Euonymus americanus.  This unprepossessing shrubs' common name is American strawberry bush or ' hearts-a- burstin'.  This is an understory shrub which grows four to six feet tall in well drained acid soils in shade to partial shade.  It is hardy from Zones 5-9 giving it quite a range.  To see one in full fruit is definitely something to talk about. Closeup_ea_berries The fruit is enclosed within a capsule which pulls back as it dries giving a flowering effect.  This shrub is fruiting now and I can't help but marvel at its' interesting shape and the wonder of its' fruit.  It is fairly nondescript most of the year but then many ornamental shrubs are until the flowering or fruiting takes place. The flower is small, white and insignificant.Dsc_0050 Would anyone look at the unblooming hydrangea and desire it for their garden?  This is a great little native shrub which settles into the border or the woodland edge with dignity until it covers itself with its' flamboyant fruit.  I have never seen this for sale at any nursery but perhaps I should.  What do you think of this native shrub? Dsc_0055


An addendum to this post...This native may be Euonymus atropurpureus rather than E. americanus.  Stay tuned for further updates!