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Euonymus americanus (American strawberry bush)
Cressler, Alan

Euonymus americanus

Euonymus americanus L.

American Strawberry Bush, Strawberry Bush, Brook Euonymus, Hearts-a-burstin, Bursting Heart, Wahoo

Celastraceae (Bittersweet Family)

Synonym(s): Euonymus americana

USDA Symbol: euam9

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

This airy, deciduous shrub grows 6-12 ft. tall. Its ridged twigs become purplish when exposed to the sun. Pale green flowers with purple stamens have five, distinct clawed petals. Bright green, oval leaves become dark red in fall when bright red fruits open to reveal orange seeds.

The Strawberry Bush is a member of the staff tree or bittersweet family (family Celastraceae), which includes shrubs, woody vines, and mostly small trees.


From the Image Gallery

20 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 12 feet tall, often shorter.
Leaf: Dark Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Green , Purple
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug
Bloom Notes: Pale green, often tinged purplish.


USA: AL , AR , DC , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , KY , LA , MD , MO , MS , NC , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , SC , TN , TX , VA , WV
Native Distribution: FL to TX, n. to s. NY & Ohio R. valley
Native Habitat: Deciduous woods; low, sandy thickets; swamps

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: None
Soil Description: Moist to dry soils.
Conditions Comments: Although it will tolerate full shade, strawberry bush fruits best when grown in light shade. It is susceptible to Euonymus scale.


Description: Semi-hardwood cuttings taken in fall root readily with no hormone treatment. Increase also by separating suckers. A less reliable method of propagation is by seed.
Seed Collection: Pick seeds by hand just before fleshy capsules begin to split. Air-dry on screens. Store in sealed, refrigerated containers.
Seed Treatment: Seed must be stratified. Some texts say a single stratification at 32-50 degrees for 90-120 days is appropriate. Others say double stratification is necessary … 90 days warm and 60 days cool.
Commercially Avail: yes

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS
Georgia Native Plant Society - Atlanta, GA
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE


Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 1 - Texas Native Shrubs (2002) Texas A&M University Agriculture Program and Leslie Finical, Dallas Arboretum

Additional resources

USDA: Find Euonymus americanus in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Euonymus americanus in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Euonymus americanus


Record Modified: 2022-10-18
Research By: TWC Staff

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