Euonymus alatus

Lindsay wrote today’s entry:

Thank you to my fellow classmate Nell Gasiewicz for snapping these pictures on our weekly plant walk.

Commonly known as burning bush or winged euonymus for its corky “wings”, Euonymus alatus was introduced to the US from Asia around 1860 for use as an ornamental shrub. In fact, people were so taken by its striking autumn colour that highway departments and parkway planters across the northeastern United States used Euonymus alatus as a divider in hedges and as foundation plantings. By the 1960s, burning bush had escaped cultivation and is now considered an invasive species in some of these areas, crowding out and outcompeting native species in the woodlands of New Hampshire, Connecticut and Virginia, along with parts of Pennsylvania and Illinois.

The good news for some locations, however, is that Euonymus alatus is not considered invasive in an urban context or in wet climates where the seeds are likely to rot before germinating.

Euonymus alatus
Euonymus alatus

16 responses to “Euonymus alatus”

  1. Charles Hines

    Hi Daniel,
    Thanks for posting the link to the Czech botany POD the other day. I can’t read Czech, but the pictures are great. And today they posted a series of photos of the UBC botanical garden! Really beautiful! I’m used to seeing a lot of close-ups from the garden, but if was really nice to see the bigger pictures. I hope I can see it myself sometime.
    I always enjoy the BPOD.
    Charles Hines
    Waldo, Ohio

  2. Meg Bernstein

    Ow, gorgeous reds. Whee!!

  3. kate

    oh these are beautiful! i LOVE fall!

  4. Mary Ann, in Toronto

    Gorgeous colour — love that soft, bluey red.

  5. sresan

    The pictures of euonymus,with its strikingly magnificent red is simply beautiful.Thank you

  6. Sue Webster

    The branch looks like a stick insect in the second photo!

  7. AdoAnnie

    You guys are seeing RED???
    On my monitor these leaves are bright, bright coral PINK! Beautiful, but really pink.

  8. Ryan

    I realize the second photo was intended to show the corky wings on the twigs, but it appears that the color is a bit off and the stem looks wrinkled and deflated. Is it dead? The fall color can be stunning though and Euonymus is one of the most requested shrubs in our nursery each fall.

  9. elizabeth a airhart

    the burning bush from
    childhood memories and stories
    yes the screens show differnt
    colors and our eyes may see
    colors in a differnt manner
    the twig well i see a mantis
    but then i wear trifocals
    fine pictures lovely october postings

  10. Deb

    Here in central Pennsylvania it is indeed a seed-driven invasive. And, sadly, the flowers that precede all those seeds are hardly even noticeable. I think of burning bush and Rose of Sharon as the perilla of the shrub world. Beautiful in the fall, briefly, but beware!

  11. Mark

    I’m wondering, are the photos of two different plants? Apterus means wingless, so var. apterus is the first photo?
    I enjoy it all, thanks for your efforts.

  12. Claire B (Saskatoon)

    Charles (in Ohio),
    Re: the Czech site. If you click on the little British flag icon near the top of the page you can get the site in English.

  13. Daniel Mosquin

    Good question, Mark — I’ll point that out to Lindsay.

  14. Daniel Mosquin

    Mark, I’ve communicated with Lindsay. That was a transposition error when she was researching the authors for the name. I’ve made the corrections, as it is indeed not that variety.

  15. Vera Moore

    The good news for some locations, however, is that Euonymus alatus is not considered invasive in an urban context or in wet climates where the seeds are likely to rot before germinating“.
    I don’t believe that to be true at all! Euonymus alatus is a way over-used landscape plant here in and around the Spokane, WA area, but hasn’t become a problem re-seeder here. The annual precipitation for our area is an average 17 inches which is hardly a wet climate. There must be another reason for it. Maybe our local bird populations find other seeds and berries more attractive than those in the eastern states and mid-west (also a problem there)? It’s baffling to me.

  16. Bruce Dancik

    Another common name I heard in the southeast many years ago was winged wahoo, which always resulted in a chuckle from students.

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