Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Meet the "Hearts -A- Bustin" (Euonymus americanus) - also called Strawberry Bush, Bursting Heart

The Heart's A Bustin' - Euonymus americanus  is most commonly recognized by the opposite, sessile finely toothed dark green leaves and white flowers arising from the leaf axils.  It is usually found in multi-stemmed shrub form but rarely in small tree form.  It is also known as the Strawberry Bush or Bursting Heart.

Image Citation: Karan A. Rawlins, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
The leaf margins are finely toothed with blades around 4 cm long and 2 cm broad.  The flowers are creamy white with petals in fours and generally white in color.  The fruit is a rounded knobby capsule that splits at maturity to reveal several red coated seeds.  The fruit of the Hearts a Bustin matures in the fall.  
Image Citation: Karan A. Rawlins, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org

Heart's A Bustin is native to the Eastern and Southern portions of the United States.  The Northern range begins in the West from Southern llinois, through Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Long Island and the Southernmost portions New York in the East.  Southern range is from Texas in the West, through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida in the East.  It is most commonly found growing in moist woodlands, and flood plains from 0-500 m.

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