- Winged euonymus, Winged burning bush, Winged wahoo, Winged spindle-tree
- Celastrus alata
- A branching, deciduous shrub with an erect habit. Compact, 6-9 feet tall.
- finely toothed
- autumn color bright scarlet red
- green to brown
- corky wings
- Creamy white to green flowers with four petals. Flowers are .25 to .33 inches wide. They grow in clusters borne from the leaf axils.
- cluster of 4 pods
- purplish seed coat
- splits to reveal orange aril (fruit)
- escapes from planted landscapes
- light shade to full sun
- tolerates full shade
- abundance in calcareous soils
- old fields
- open woods and floodplain forests
- birds spread the seed
- seeds also drop underneath the plant
Key ID Features:
- deciduous shrub
- winged stems (some cultivars may lack wings)
- red fall color
- corky twigs
- orange fruit
- white to green flowers
- Burning bush is the only local species with winged stems.
- Flowers are relatively inconspicuous. Burning Bush or Winged Euonymus can take over open woodland habitats creating a monoculture as it pushes out native shrubs. Due to its matted, dense root system, and dense shade, few other plants can succeed beneath Burning bush.
- Some younger plants or cultivated varieties may lack the winged stems.
- On Nantucket, two individuals are known in the wild.
Growth Form: Shrub
Origin: Japan, China
Level of Invasiveness for Nantucket: Potential Invasive
Level of Invasiveness for Massachusetts: Invasive
Massachusetts Cultivation Restrictions: importation ban July 2006, propagation ban January 2009