Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Burning Bush
Give a thumbs up Winged Euonymus
Give a thumbs up Winged Spindle Tree
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
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
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


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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 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
What type of bush is this by Amom41612614 Apr 22, 2019 6:49 PM 4
What did you see around your neighborhood today? by _Bleu_ Apr 22, 2019 6:56 PM 298
bush with "churro" branches by whichbush Nov 20, 2018 9:52 AM 4
Tree/Shrub by janinilulu Jul 27, 2018 9:51 AM 4
What this? by Kslabosky May 10, 2018 7:57 AM 3
Is this a weed by HenryV Oct 2, 2017 9:17 AM 7
Hedge by NW_Neebie Aug 10, 2017 5:40 PM 4
Dead hydrangea? by 1hugaholic Apr 22, 2017 9:10 AM 6
What plant is this? by fivefootnine Feb 19, 2017 9:59 AM 3
Ooo pretty bush! by 1hugaholic Nov 2, 2016 2:23 PM 3

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