Natural Highlights: Strawberry Bush


The bright red seeds and warty capsules of the Strawberry Bush (Euonymus americanus) can be seen along the banks of the upper Wolf River in October.  Except during the fall, this is an inconspicuous shrub with small greenish white flowers in May and June.  It is a favorite food plant of the numerous deer roaming the woods, and the short steep banks of the river offer it and other plants some protection from the browsers.  Strawberry bushes are native to wooded slopes, moist understory forest areas, low sandy woods, ravines and streambanks throughout the Southeast. 

The distinctive and colorful capsules of the Strawberry Bush, also called Hearts-a-Burstin', make it a nice, low maintenance addition to the home landscape. The seeds provide food for birds, and the shrub is also a host plant for the Pyralid and American Ermine moths - thus producing more food for birds in the form of caterpillars. As a plant of the forest understory, it prefers partial shade, and it will tolerate clay soils.  Strawberry Bushes grow to 4-6 ft. and are deciduous, multi-stemmed, and tends to form suckers once established.    

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Posted by Cathy Justis at 10:38 AM