Burning Bush (Euonymus alata)

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Burning Bush
Large, ornamental bush, up to 10’ in height. Prevalent along riverbanks and in rich forest soils; also found in open areas.

  • “Winged” ridges on stems are characteristic.
  • Leaves are opposite.
  • Leaf color in fall: bright red (full sun); pale pink (shade).
  • Oval berries ripen from green to red in late summer.
The Problem:
Escapes from planted landscapes into natural areas, rapidly developing into dense colonies; displaces native understory shrubs important to songbirds. Infestations can be many acres in size.
Remains popular in nursery trade due to ease of propagation (high profit margin), fast growth rate, and brilliant red fall color.