I live in Williston, ND. This is a plant that thrived in sunlight on the south side of my home. I moved it to a shady spot and it still grew, but didn't seem as hardy. I have included several photographs: The bush, an upper branch, lower branches, a blossom on the bush that is about done blooming with leaves above it, and another of a blossom that fell off the bush. The blossoms have an unpleasant odor. Right now, the plant is about 4 feet tall and because it did not thrive well in the shade it isn't as full as it was when it was in the sun. I would appreciate it if anyone can identify this plant.
growin - I think you're right. My first thought at seeing the fruits was Euonymus americanus (and the stems are consistent with Euonymus spp. as well). But the foliage didn't look right. However the cultivar mutation explains the atypical foliage. LMBenson - In the SE US, E. americanus is usually found as an understory plant beneath hardwoods in partial shade or at the edge of a forest in partial sun. But at the extreme northern end of its range in ND it probably needs the extra sun to build up reserves to survive the long, cold winter.
growin and TomH3787-- The leaves of the plant pictured at the second website listed above are not the same as the leaves on my bush. The blossom on my plant is different than the blossom pictured at the Website listed as well. The blossoms on my plant have a fairly smooth outer surface while the blossoms of the Euonymus americanus have spike-like features all over the outside. Also, the number of fruit in each blossom on my plant usually numbers about 2, maybe three, while those shown at the URL seem to have way more fruits than that.
Thank you for your efforts, but I'm not sure my plant is a Eunymus americanus. Could there be so much mutation that the aforementioned differences would occur on the Eunymus americanus?
I'm in LMBenson's camp - NOT Euonymus americanus at all.
Could be another spindle, and I'm betting an introduced one of very hardy (maybe Asian) origin.
As noted by our good friend from ND, the illustrated plant has a very smooth capsule (this is not the blossom, but rather the structure that contains the seed that is released to hang down after it splits open). Euonymus americanus will always have a warty capsule - and the internet image links (as well as my own personal experience with this species) bears that out.