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Winged burningbush (Euonymus alatus)

Winged burningbush Synonyms: Euonymus alata

Common Names: Burningbush, winged euonymus

Description: To this day, it is still used in landscaping as an ornamental.

Habit: Deciduous; growing up to 15-20 ft in height and in width; multiple stemmed with a broad closed crown; angular branching.

Leaves: Elliptic leaves are simple, opposite or sub-opposite; 1-3 in long and 1/2 to 1 1/4 in wide; finely toothed margins. Leaves turn a bright red in the fall before dropping.

Stems: Green to brown in color; multiple; angular; two to four corky ridges or "wings" often form along the length of young stems.

Flowers: Small, inconspicuous, greenish yellow in color, 4 petals, lay flat against leaves; blooms May through June.

Fruit and seeds: Red to purple capsules, smooth, appear in pairs in leaf axils, turn purple in the fall, split open to reveal orange fleshy seeds, appear from September to October.

Habitat: Native to Asia, Japan and central Asia. Found in open woods, forests, pastures, prairies, and roadsides.

Reproduction: Expands locally through vegetative reproduction and to new areas through bird dispersed seeds.

Similar species: Native strawberry bush (Euonymus americana), also called "hearts-a-bustin", which has green non-winged stems. Also, saplings of native sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) with winged stems may be mistake for this species.

Monitoring and rapid response: Hand-pull seedlings up to 2 feet tall; cut or dig out larger plants; root systems can be removed with a spading fork or pull with a weed wrench; ground out stump and paint with glyphosate immediately. Can be effectively controlled using any of several readily available general use herbicides such as glyphosate, imazapyr, or triclopyr.

Credits: The information provided in this factsheet was gathered from the National Park Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service.

Individual species images that appear with a number in a black box are courtesy of the network ( photo author credits may not be included due to the small display size of the images and subsequent difficulty of reading the provided text. All other images appear courtesy of Google (

Common Name:

Winged burningbush

Scientific Name:

Euonymus alatus







USDA Symbol: