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Shrub Identification

Posted by pob76 Wisconsin (My Page) on
Sat, Oct 31, 09 at 10:09

I need some assistance identifying a shrub I discovered in a natural area directly adjacent to my property. The fall color beautiful (yellow, orange, and red). I wanted to clear out the weeds and overgrowth around it so it could flourish but as I got closer to it, I discovered, (aside from the beautiful leaf coloring), bright pink pods, featuring bright orange seeds (berries?). I have not had success identifying the shrub (or tree) in any of my books. I'm hopeful someone can help me


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Shrub Identification

It's a Euonymus. A picture could help narrow down the species. The Burning Bush (euonymus alatus) is common to many areas. Google "euonymus" and see if you can find the exact species of what you saw.


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RE: Shrub Identification

Many Thanks. I'll hunt in that direction. I would not have gone there on purpose. Now that I recheck the leaves, they are very similar, and fall coloring is also very close. What has completely thrown me off though are the vibrant pink and orange pods. I'll post again if I find the right species. Thanks again.


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RE: Shrub Identification - Picture in Gallery

I totally forgot that I did post a picture over in the gallery, under "Name that Plant". It's the first picture; a close up of the bright pink pods, which have opened to reveal the orange seeds.


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RE: Shrub Identification

Definitely a Euonymus.

Here is a link that might be useful: Your picture


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RE: Shrub Identification

Didn't see a post in the Gallery section but your plant is probably Euonymus americanus, often called strawberry tree or hearts-a-burstin'. It is a native shrub with a very wide distribution and the seed pods are pretty distinctive, even for a euonymus.

Here is a link that might be useful: euonymus photos


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RE: Shrub Identification

No, it is not E. americanus. See that link in my post above - that is the OP's picture.


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RE: Shrub Identification

The pic looks like a spindle tree (euonymus europaeus).


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RE: Shrub Identification

That's a Euonymus atropurpureus, Eastern Wahoo. Easy to separate from Euonymus americanus (Strawberry Bush) while in fruit.

Eastern Wahoo has smooth pink capsule, splitting to reveal the orange seed coats. Strawberry Bush has warty bumps on the pink seed capsule.

Both species are native in KY. Eastern Wahoo mostly populates circumneutral soils of limestone origin, while Strawberry Bush is most often found on soils of more acid reaction.


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RE: Shrub Identification

Good call. There was a thread about the Eastern Wahoo in the New England Gardening Forum recently. I've enclosed the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Eastern Wahoo thread.


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RE: Shrub Identification

Oh my gosh, you all have given me so much information. Thank you so much. After looking at and reading the various links, I'm thinking it's looking more like an Euonymus europaeus. For these reasons:
1. Link shows picture of pods that look much like the pods in my picture (see "your picture") in #5 position above from esh ga.
2. Very upright growth habit. Eastern Wahoo has a rounded growth habit, and pictures I've found on-line of fruit/pods are completely different. I'll attach a link on a subsequent post, as I do not know how to attach two links in one posting. I'm very new at this. Sorry. Feel free all of you genius's out there to rip apart my thinking.

Here is a link that might be useful: Euonymus europaeus


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Shrub Identification - Eastern Wahoo

  • Posted by pob76 5 Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Sun, Nov 1, 09 at 11:05

Here is the link I mentioned in previous post as to why my shrub may not be an Eastern Wahoo.

Here is a link that might be useful: Eastern Wahoo


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RE: Shrub Identification - Pics in Gallery

  • Posted by pob76 5 Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Sun, Nov 1, 09 at 13:16

To all helping me identify the Euonymus, I have posted 3 more pictures in the gallery. They are named appropriately, Euonymus 1, Euonymus 2, and Euonymus 3. The first one that I posted, the one that got this whole identity thing going is named "No idea what this is - but beautiful". The 3 new ones are listed under "Name that Plant", "Autumn Beauty", and "Nature's Best"
Hope this helps. Had to compress the photos in order to upload them, so they are not that clear. Bummer.


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RE: Shrub Identification

pob76, the link that you posted of Eastern Wahoo (E.atropurpureus) are of flowers, not the seed capsules that we are seeing now in the fall. Actually, that is probably the easiest way to distinguish it from eurpaeus, which has greenish petals instead of maroon/brown.


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