Index- plants in this Family
Celastraceae / Staff-tree
Strawberry Bush (Euonymus americanus)
Strawberry Bush is also known as Bursting Heart or Hearts a Bursting (with Love).

Plant Type: This is a shrub which can reach 180cm in height (70inches). The stem is green and somewhat angular.
Leaves: The leaf arrangement is opposite. Each leaf is toothed.
Flowers: The flowers have 5 Regular Parts. They are greenish sometimes purplish. Blooms first appear in late spring and continue into early summer. The flowers are born in small clusters (sometimes single) at the end of stems emerging from the leaf axis.
Fruit: A bright red, warty, four sectioned capsule that splits open revealing four shinny red berry like seeds that remain attached to the open pod.
Habitat: Rich woods.
Range: Most of eastern North America except extreme north.

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The flowers of this shrub are not very eye-catching but the red fruits that persist on the plant for sometime are very showy. The straight green stems are sometimes seen bitten off by deer that like to browse on the plant.

Medical Uses: The bark and seeds are a powerful laxative and shouldnever be ingested. In the past physicians have used a bark tea as a laxative, diuretic and expectorant to treat various diseases. Native Americans may have used a root tea for treating stomachaches, painful urination and the vomiting of blood.(Foster & Duke)
: The bark and fruit are considered poisonous and should never be ingested.

Similar Species: Wahoo (E. atropupureus) is a more northern species that extends it's range as far south as Tennessee. It can be a small tree reaching 7 meters in height. It has smooth seed pods.
Spindletree ( E. europaeus) is a native of Europe that has escaped cultivation in the US. It too is a small tree and has smooth seed pods. The seeds are orange.

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More Info:  
The Search below may provide more information about this species. Some of URLs may have been used as a source for this page not otherwise cited. Most of the information not cited comes from multiple sources that can be found in the Books page. The USDA plant links are provided by: USDA, NRCS 1999. The PLANTS database ( National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA. You can check species names at ITIS Advanced Search to see if they meet the current ITIS taxonomic criteria.

By: Newcomb, Lawrence and Illustrated by Morrison, Gordon. 1977, Little, Brown and Company, ISBN:0-316-60442-9

One of the best general guides to wildflowers of the North Eastern and North Central United States. Newcomb's key is an excellent, simple method for identifying plants. Newcomb has drawings for almost every plant mentioned that are excellent aids to identifying the species. Though only the more common plants are covered this is often the first book I pick up when trying to identify a wildflower.

Wildflo wers of Tennessee the Ohio Valley and the Southern Appalachians
By: Dennis Horn and Tavia Cathcart and Thomas E. Hemmerly and David Duhl. , ISBN:1551054280

This is perhaps the best of many field guides covering this region. Featuring 446 excellent color photographs (located with the text) and mentioning as similar to those illustrated are another 800 or so species for a total coverage of over 1,200 species. The start of each family section includes line drawings of some of the species showing important features. The text includes the usual description, bloom season, range, habitat and additionally includes information such as medical uses and lore and how the species was named. This is the official field guide of the Tennessee Native Plant Society.

Angiosperms / Flowering Plants
Dicots / Two Seed Leaves
Staff- tree


Burningbush, Spindletree

Welcome / Glossary / Books / Links / Feedback / Image use policy - Wildflowers of the Southeastern United States, Page updated on 4/5/2008 8:35:31 AM.