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Bursting Heart, Hearts-a-bustin', Strawberry Bush. - Euonymus americanus


Family: Celastraceae Bittersweet family Genus Common Name: Spindletree Native Status: Native
Euonymus americanus - Bursting Heart, Hearts-a-bustin', Strawberry Bush.. E. americanus is a shrub with thin stems and opposing, shallowly serrated leaves. The bush grows from 4 to 6 feet tall. Fruit is a red 4-lobed capsule. Each lobe splits open in the autumn, giving the name Bursting Heart.

A similar but taller and more northern species is Euonymous atropurpureus - Burningbush.

Thanks to @scgardeningnews for tweeting the South Carolina Native Plant Society Plant Identification website where I saw a photo that made this identification for me.

Distribution of Euonymus americanus in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2009. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 25 Oct 2014). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

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Site: Three Lakes Park, Richmond, VA Date: 2009-November-07Photographer: Patty Hankins
Canon 5D Mark II
The bright red seed capsule of Euonymus americanus bursts open in the fall, giving the plant it's Bursting-heart common name.

This excellent photograph is used with permission of the photographer, Patty Hankins. More photographs are available at her Beautiful Flower Pictures Blog.
Euonymus americanus

Site: The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain, Walker County, GA Date: 2009-May-04Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D60
1/50 f/13 ISO200
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
90mm (135 equiv) Flash: Yes
The blossoms of Bursting Heart are not showy, with 5 green petals which frequently have a reddish tinge.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Euonymus americanus

Site: The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain, Walker County, GA Date: 2009-May-04Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
1/60 f/13 ISO200
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
90mm (135 equiv) Flash: Yes
Click on the photo for a larger image
Euonymus americanus

Site: Blount County, TN Date: 2010-October-17Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
200mm (300 equiv)
Click on the photo for a larger image
Euonymus americanus

Site: Reflection Riding, Hamilton County, TN Date: 2010-August-28Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
Click on the photo for a larger image
Euonymus americanus

Site: Zahnd's Natural Area (Lower), Walker County, GA Date: 2010-September-12Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
Click on the photo for a larger image
Euonymus americanus

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2014
Photographs Copyrighted by the named photographer