Euonymus americanus

Photo Courtesy of K. Hubeny

Common Name(s) Strawberry Bush
Scientific Name Euonymus americanus
Family Celastraceae
Location/Vegetative Zone Thicket
Flowering Period May-June
Identifying Characteristics 2-12 feet tall, egg-shaped leaves; red, warty fruits


  • Grows up to 12 feet tall
  • Opposite leaves simple and toothed, 2 to 4 inches in length
  • Small yellow-green flowers that are saucer-shaped, have 5 green/purple petals
  • Fruit is a four-lobed capsule that is red in color; opens to reveal an orange-red warty aril in the autumn
  • Grows in deciduous forests, low, sandy thickets, and swamps
  • Located in Plains, Mid-Atlantic, Great Lakes, Florida, Southeast, Texas.

Medicinal/Edible Uses

  • Native Americans used the roots to make a tea for stomach and urinary problems

Cultural Uses

  • Ornamental throughout many cultures


  • Also known as wahoo, bursting heart, fish wood, burning bush, hearts-a-burstin-love, brook euonymus
  • Many of the common names come from the appearance of the fruits, similar to a strawberry in appearance
  • The fruit and bark of the Strawberry contain glycosides that cause severe diarrhea in humans
  • When ingested the berries may affect the heart, possibly causing cardiac arrest

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