Euonymus americanus

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Euonymus americanus

Secure (NatureServe)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Celastrales
Family: Celastraceae
Genus: Euonymus
Species: E. americanus
Binomial name
Euonymus americanus

Euonymus americanus is a species of flowering plant in the family Celastraceae. Common names include strawberry bush, American strawberry bush, bursting-heart, hearts-a-bustin and hearts-bustin'-with-love.[1] It is native to the eastern United States, its distribution extending as far west as Texas.[2] It has also been recorded in Ontario.[3]

This is a deciduous shrub growing up to 2 meters tall. The oppositely arranged leaves are leathery or papery in texture and measure up to 10 centimeters long. Flowers are borne in the leaf axils on peduncles up to 2.2 centimeters long. The yellow-green sepals are 1 or 2 centimeters long and the greenish or reddish petals above are smaller. The fruit capsule is about 1.5 centimeters wide with a red warty or spiny covering. The capsule splits into five sections, revealing seeds covered in bright red arils.[3]

The seeds are dispersed by animals.[3] Deer have been known to graze on this plant and seem to love the tender leaves and stems. Humans should take the red color of the seeds as a warning; they are known to be a strong laxative and cause severe diarrhea. In fact, this genus of plants in general is considered poisonous to humans.[4]



  1. ^ Euonymus americanus. USDA PLANTS.
  2. ^ Euonymus americanus. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN).
  3. ^ a b c Ma, J. and G. Moore. Euonymus americanus L. International Institute of Tropical Forestry (IITF). United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service.
  4. ^ "December Plant of the Month: Euonymus americanus". Retrieved 2015-10-09.