Photo of Euonymus americanus

Euonymus americanus

American Strawberry Bush

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Bright red textured fruit capsules split open in the fall revealing 4 glossy orange-red seeds, eaten by birds.

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Strawberry Bush or Bursting Hearts gets its name from the ornamental bright red textured fruit capsule that splits open in the fall revealing 4 glossy orange-red seeds. It is a low maintenance deciduous shrub native to New Jersey and the southeastern and southern states. Small spring blooming flowers are nearly inconspicuous. It’s green summer leaves turn red and orange in the fall, which drop to reveal purplish stems in the winter. It grows in slightly acidic, moist clay or organic rich sandy soil. Once established, it is drought tolerant for short periods of time. Native to woodlands, Strawberry Bush grows as an understory shrub in full shade, part shade, and can tolerate full sun. It will need some protection from full, direct afternoon sun. This shrub is a favorite food of deer. If deer are a problem in your yard, this is not the shrub for you. It can be grown from seed and will spread by suckering.

Wildlife Value: Birds eat the seeds.

Plant Details:

Other Common Names: Bursting Hearts

Plant Type: Shrub

New Jersey Native: Yes

Bloom Times: Late Spring to Early Summer

Deer Resistance: None

Attracts Pollinators and Wildlife: Birds

Salt Tolerance: Unknown

Hardiness Zone: 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b

Physiographic Region: Piedmont - P, Highland - H, Coastal Plain - CP

Soil Characteristics

Soil Type: Organic, Sandy, Clay

Soil Moisture: Dry, Moist

Soil pH: Acidic, Slightly Acidic

Light Needs of Plant

Optimal Light: Partial Shade

Light Range: Full Sun, Partial Shade, Shade

Water Needs of Plant

Soil Moisture: Dry, Moist

Drought Tolerance: Medium

Size and Growth Rate

Height: 4 - 6 ft

Spread: 3 - 4 ft

Growth Rate: Medium