PlantsEuonymus→Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus)

Common names:
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Give a thumbs up Winged Euonymus
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Give a thumbs up Cork Bush

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Dry
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 3 -40 °C (-40 °F) to -37.2 °C (-35)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 8b
Plant Height: 15 - 20 feet
Plant Spread: 15 - 20
Leaves: Good fall color
Deciduous
Fruit: Edible to birds
Fruiting Time: Fall
Flowers: Inconspicuous
Flower Color: White
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Uses: Windbreak or Hedge
Wildlife Attractant: Birds
Propagation: Seeds: Stratify seeds: 3 months in moist sand at 40F
Needs specific temperature: 70-85F
Days to germinate: 8 weeks
Depth to plant seed: Barely cover with sand.
Suitable for wintersowing
Start indoors
Can handle transplanting
Other info: Plant seedlings in 1 gallon pots after sprouting. Plant out after last frost. Space 6-10 feet apart.
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Pollinators: Various insects

Image

Photo gallery:
Location: Cedarhome, WashingtonDate: 2008-12-13Berries peaking through the snow
By Bonehead
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2011-12-01
By jmorth
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2017-11-17
By jmorth
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Location: southeast PennsylvaniaDate: 2010-10-20full-grown shrub in backyard in fall
By ILPARW
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2013-12-13
By jmorth
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2020-05-09
By jmorth
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Location: Cedarhome, WashingtonDate: 2009-10-18
By Bonehead
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2013-11-27
By jmorth
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Location: N. Illinois, zone 5b
By holity
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Location: N. Illinois, zone 5bDate: Mid-OctoberFoliage in process of autumn turning
By holity
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Location: central IllinoisDate: Nov 2013
By jmorth
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2016-12-06very late fall color
By jmorth
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Location: In Seiwa-en, in the Missouri Botanical GardenDate: Fall, 2001Euonymus alatus
By jathton
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2011-10-08
By jmorth
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2014-09-28A sculpted Burning Bush
By jmorth
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2014-11-05
By jmorth
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Location: WashingtonDate: 2016-09-23
By Patty
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Location: Newtown Square, PennsylvaniaDate: 2011-08-05mature shrub that has been pruned down at times
By ILPARW
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Location: West Chester, PennsylvaniaDate: 2011-05-10a row of shrubs as a screen
By ILPARW
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Location: West Chester, PennsylvaniaDate: 2011-05-10yellowish little flowers and leaves
By ILPARW
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Location: At the Oklahoma City National MemorialDate: 10-22-2019Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus) in OkC 001
By jathton
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Location: At the Oklahoma City National MemorialDate: 10-22-2019Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus) in OkC 002
By jathton
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Location: At the Oklahoma City National MemorialDate: 10-22-2019Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus) in OkC 003
By jathton
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Location: At the Oklahoma City National MemorialDate: 10-22-2019Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus) in OkC 004
By jathton
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Location: in Seiwa-en, part of the Missouri Botanical GardenDate: Fall, 2001Euonymus alatus
By jathton
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Location: central IllinoisDate: April 2012
By jmorth
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2013-10-19
By jmorth
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2013-10-25
By jmorth
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2013-10-25Good example of alata, the specific epithet ,which means 'winged'
By jmorth
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2014-10-01
By jmorth
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2014-10-11
By jmorth
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2014-11-01
By jmorth
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2015-02-02dormant over winter
By jmorth
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2015-02-17Pretty bare in winter.
By jmorth
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2009-03-28
By jmorth
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2015-02-17
By jmorth
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Comments:
Posted by robertduval14 (Mason, New Hampshire - Zone 5b) on Mar 29, 2014 3:09 PM

The USDA and the U.S. Forest Service list the plant as invasive and a threat to mature forests and successional fields and woodlands because it out-competes native species.

It is illegal to plant these in New Hampshire, though I know people do it all the time, because too many people only care about invasives if it's something they, personally, don't want growing in their area.

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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Oct 11, 2018 8:22 AM

This Winged Euonymus Burningbush is abundantly planted all around the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, and upper South of the USA, sold at most every conventional nursery, where it is referred to as the standard shrub rather than the compact variety that is even more commonly planted. It is native to northeast Asia. It is a good quality, neat , clean, large shrub that has handsome foliage and red fall color, (pink in shade). Its winged twigs are handsome that range from slightly winged to very winged, depending. It develops a very dense, powerful, fibrous root system, so that one can't plant some other kind of plants close to it after it is mature. It develops very dense foliage, so that many use it for a dense screen or sheared hedge. Unfortunately its orange seeds are eaten by some birds and deposited out in the wild where it has become an invasive Asian plant in or along woods in eastern North America. When I go out and attack invasive Eurasian plants in the wild to aid the native plants, this is one of the common ones that I take out. I consider this shrub as over-used and I wish for more variety in landscapes.

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Posted by jathton (Oklahoma City, OK - Zone 7a) on Oct 25, 2019 4:19 PM

There are evidently lots of reasons to NOT plant Burning Bush if you live in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, NYC and other points east. But living on the Southern Great Plains often gives gardeners a perspective they would not otherwise have. Burning Bush out here on the plains:
... adapts to a wide range of soil conditions
... tolerates moist and dry sites
... has no serious insect and/or disease problems
... is easy to transplant
... tolerates our blazing hot full sun in summers
... and provides a degree of red fall color seldom seen on shrubs on the Great Plains.
So, while others will condemn it as largely valueless, I'll hold with Michael Dirr's opinion that Burning Bush is one of the great aesthetic and functional shrubs available for American gardens.
Oh yes, pruned up it makes a beautiful multi-stemmed small shrub or tree for containers.

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Posted by Bonehead (Planet Earth - Zone 8b) on Oct 12, 2013 11:00 AM

Neat habit which doesn't require any pruning, bright green foliage in spring, white flowers, leaves turn a rich red in fall, and orange berries hold on all winter. Excellent low-maintenance four-season shrub.

This is not listed as an invasive plant in Washington, but rather appears to be more of a problem on the east coast. One should, however, be mindful of its potential to escape on the west coast as well. This plant is a mainstay of parking strip plantings, although they tend to get pruned often and severely so likely do not bear as much fruit as they would if left to their natural growth habit. I presume they spread through bird droppings, as they don't appear to sucker. I have never run across one wild in the PNW, nor had unwanted seedlings appear (I have 3 shrubs).

As a side note, this plant has been over-used to the point that my landscape son refers to it as "you wanna miss" that one..

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Posted by bxncbx (NYC - Zone 7a) on Oct 4, 2016 9:11 AM

Considered invasive (or potentially invasive) in the following states: CT, GA, IL, IN, KY, MA, NC, NH, SC, TN, WV. Also the District of Columbia (DC).

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Gift from the birds. by antsinmypants Oct 22, 2020 7:57 PM 8
Shrub disease identification by Drewb8288 Aug 15, 2020 5:12 PM 1
Pervasive Pest to Identify Help! by zendalajane Jun 23, 2020 11:11 AM 5
Please help identify by Brownmattc Apr 19, 2020 11:51 PM 8
Need help IDing this one... from the woodlands of the NE USA by mariangelespk Oct 24, 2019 7:21 PM 6
Shrub identification! by ZeeJakes Jan 6, 2020 10:01 AM 27
How far down can I trim these bushes by Hammehead1024 May 11, 2020 2:36 PM 5
plant about 3 feet in backyard by gnomegordon Sep 3, 2019 10:47 AM 9
What is this plant disease?? Or bug?? by cwhitt Aug 21, 2019 2:23 PM 11
Burning Bush by cchrabot Jul 27, 2019 10:36 AM 7

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