Friday, October 30, 2009

Burning Bush

In yesterday's post I mentioned Euonymus alata, Burning Bush, a species that grows in my yard. Here it is! Alas, it's within the Massachusetts noxious list. I am harboring a criminal! :-)

From Addisonia:

"This, one of the best of all our decorative shrubs, grows native in Japan, Manchuria, the Amur region, and in north and central China. It is one of the shrubs easy to grow, accommodating itself readily to its surroundings, and is a thing of beauty in summer and winter. Its crisp fresh foliage gives it a dainty appearance in the month of May, when its flowers usually appear. As the season advances the leaves become of a grayer hue, and in the autumn turn to a rich crimson, which, with the bright orange-red of the exposed arils, makes it one of the most conspicuous shrubs of that season. As the leaves fall the bright red fruit appears even more conspicuous, and the corky wings, of a brown color, become more evident, adding a curious as well as attractive touch not seen in other shrubs. It may be readily propagated from seeds."

The New York Botanical Garder. Addisonia: Colored Illustrations and Popular Descriptions of Plants Volume 3. Lancaster, PA 1918. 7-8. Web. Google Book Search. 29 Oct 2009.


  1. Until I read your two posts, I was not aware that there were two different species of burning bush. For years I have heard that "euonymus alata" was on the noxious list but I could never figure out why- it's not like I've ever seen it choking out other plants like bittersweet does, or growing into huge swaths as far as the eye can see like loosestrife can do. I must admit, the colors of the burning bush this time of year are so gorgeous that I'm sorry I do not have any of my own!

  2. I guess there are a good many Euonymus species, aka "the spindles", that display beautiful fall foilage. One of my ID books lists eight species. So it looks like you could plant an alternate and still get great color.

    My bush seems quite well behaved. The Massachuestts Invasive Plant Advisory Group has this so say about E. alatus: "Escaping from cultivation and can form dense thickets and dominate the understory; seeds are disbursed by birds."

    This morning a robin was poking around in my bush; this evening a cardinal. Must be berry picking time.