Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Burning Bush, Cork Bush, Winged Euonymus
Euonymus alatus 'Compacta'

Family: Celastraceae
Genus: Euonymus (yoo-ON-ih-mus) (Info)
Species: alatus (a-LAY-tus) (Info)
Cultivar: Compacta
Additional cultivar information: (aka Compactus)

Synonym:Celastrus alatus
Synonym:Euonymus alata

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

18 members have or want this plant for trade.

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4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:

Grown for foliage
Good Fall Color

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

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There are a total of 35 photos.
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4 positives
7 neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative Rickwebb On Dec 1, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

I grew up with one of these at the corner of my parent's house in Chicagoland. It did always stay about 6 ft high x 8 ft high and was not horribly dense as many of them get with a very dense fibrous root system. It did sucker some as many shrubs do. It had fairly good corky twigs and good fall color.

I am negative on this species because it is so over-planted and thrown into so many spots where it just does not fit. The standard large form is also thrown around so much everywhere in landscapes and is kept smaller by the most horrible shearing, making a green lump.It has escaped cultivation into the wild and is helping to ruin good ecology in the native woods.

Neutral hermero On Apr 24, 2014, hermero from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

Planted 4 Burning Bush Compacta plants 2 years ago; well spaced in front of Blue Arrow Junipers in a bed along a cement parking area. One never did leaf out. 2013 we planted another that did better than the first 3 which had very pale green leaves. Added some Ironite and all 4 seemed to green up pretty well. Now Spring 2014, they are all pale green again. They are south facing and well mulched and Oregon's springs bring plenty of water. I did read on a blog that a shortage of magnesium could be the problem. I will try some epsoms salts and a little extra nitrogen. If anyone has experience with this problem, please share. Thanks.

Negative coriaceous On Feb 24, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This cultivar is anything but compact. Just goes to show how far a good cultivar name can go to perk up sales.

'Compacta' is almost as fast-growing as the parent species and grows almost as tall and wide (12' x 12', vs 15' x 15' for the species). This isn't a plant to use in a foundation planting unless you want to commit yourself to performing an annual heavy pruning.

It also lacks the prominent corky ornamental wings on the stems that gives the species its name.

Import, trade, sale, purchase, and planting this species is illegal in my state and one other. This plant invades and impoverishes natural areas in eastern and midwestern North America. I often encounter this in wild areas, with seedlings sometimes carpeting the ground in woodlands.

Birds eat the fruit and may deposit the seeds many miles away. Your plant doesn't need to be near a wild area to spread its offspring there.

Neutral outdoorlover On Jun 10, 2010, outdoorlover from Enid, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This bush has grown well in our area, but I'm not sure it provides enough benefit to live in our front yard. It is grown for its beautiful red fall foliage, but it only seems to last a week or two. Maybe it just seemed that way the past year or two. I'll try to pay better attention to it this year. Maybe it turns bright red right before our first freeze, which then causes the leaves to fall off??

Neutral Blackwill On Mar 5, 2010, Blackwill from Bakersfield, CA wrote:

I ordered two of these plants from Michigan Bulb (I know...). They arrived mid October of '09, and were planted right away.

A few leaves popped out on each plant early on, and then they seemed to drop back hard in Winter.

It is now early March in zone 9b/10 (So Central California), and I have noticed that there is very, very little action with regard to bud burst or new growth. Almost none, actually. The buds themselves are very small, and have not yet begun to swell.

Too early for leafing out in this zone???

Positive tsswizek On Jan 21, 2010, tsswizek from South Bend, IN wrote:

Dwarf Burning Bush seem to work very well in Z5/Northern Indiana. They are quite tolerant in tough environments. In addition, each winter when snow covers the ground, rabbits take quite a liking to them, and the bounce back through the season nicely.

Positive tropicsofohio On Apr 19, 2007, tropicsofohio from Hilliard, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

our burning bushes are doing great. we put them in 10 years ago and kept them well pruned. they are now around 5 feet tall. beautifull in spring summer and fall.

Neutral chahn On Jun 27, 2006, chahn from anchorage, AK (Zone 4a) wrote:

My husband bought two plants at Costco in late May and was very excited. That very night a moose came up to our back door and ate one half of each plant. We removed them from the yard and placed them on our deck. It has been a month and they have recovered nicely. My husband is transplanting them into the yard today. Hopefully the moose will not be back this summer.

Positive binkandemsmom On Aug 17, 2005, binkandemsmom from Derry, NH wrote:

My husband and I were fortunate enough to buy our first house with 15 dwarf burning bushes already planted in the front yard . We moved in this past April when the bushes didn't yet have any foliage on them (we are in NH). I'm embarrassed to say that my husband and I (being novice gardeners at best....we are learning more everyday though ;) had no clue what type of bush they were for the first 2 months!! I finally was able to find an old faded tag from one as I was doing some yard work. They are currently ranging from just over 2'-3.5' tall (planted in 2 rows). They are planted a few feet back from the edge of our 2.5 foot tall retaining wall. About 2/3 get a moderate amount of sun while the rest are under the canopy of our huge 3-4' wide maple only part sun at best. There is a size difference and leaf color difference between the shrubs with more light and less light (the ones in partial shade have a more yellow green leaf tone and are smaller/sparser). I am thinking of transplanting the ones that are the most shaded. I rate these a positive because we have done nothing at all with them all spring or summer and they've done just fine. They have cedar/pine mulch but thats it. We had a very hard (snowy lol!!) winter last year and now a pretty dry summer (hotter than usual) and they are still going strong. I can't wait to see them this fall!!!!!

Neutral jgmcgeady On Aug 6, 2004, jgmcgeady from Michigan City, IN wrote:

When is the best time of year to trim the burning bush compacta?

Neutral gardenia1 On Jul 30, 2004, gardenia1 from Exton, PA wrote:

I love this plant and it is doing well except for either a rabbit or squirrel has been digging around the root area and eating the bark of the stems. So far my plant is strong and holding up but it is yet young and has been planted now for a year in my yard. I fear the squirrels, rabbits will eventually kill my plant. Would anyone have any suggestions on what to do to prevent these animals from feeding on the bark and digging to the roots?

Neutral smiln32 On Apr 17, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This bush can also be grown as a hedge. Foliage is jade-green all summer, then turns crimson red in the fall. Yellow flowers in spring.

Positive roshana On Oct 25, 2003, roshana from Jacksonville, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

My two dwarf burning bushes are about 4 years old and are about the same size as when I got them. Very small/slow growth. They are planted right next to my front door, in full sun and are wonderfully red in the fall.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Santa Clara, California
Clifton, Colorado
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Seymour, Connecticut
Wilmington, Delaware
Braselton, Georgia
Marietta, Georgia
Rome, Georgia
Cary, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois (2 reports)
Hampton, Illinois
Jacksonville, Illinois
Oak Lawn, Illinois
Palmyra, Illinois
Spring Grove, Illinois
White Heath, Illinois
Yorkville, Illinois
Fishers, Indiana
Indianapolis, Indiana
Michigan City, Indiana
Davenport, Iowa
Alfred, Maine
Chestertown, Maryland
West Friendship, Maryland
Bridgewater, Massachusetts
Westford, Massachusetts
Dearborn Heights, Michigan
Holland, Michigan
Novi, Michigan
Kasota, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Greeley, Nebraska
Omaha, Nebraska
Derry, New Hampshire
Rochester, New York
Raleigh, North Carolina
Belfield, North Dakota
Dayton, Ohio
Garrettsville, Ohio
Hilliard, Ohio
Mount Orab, Ohio
Springboro, Ohio
Enid, Oklahoma
Bend, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Coatesville, Pennsylvania
Collegeville, Pennsylvania
Elkins Park, Pennsylvania
Irwin, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
North Augusta, South Carolina (2 reports)
Webster, South Dakota
Knoxville, Tennessee
Maryville, Tennessee
Houston, Texas
Yantis, Texas
Kaysville, Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah
Broadway, Virginia
Portsmouth, Virginia
East Port Orchard, Washington
Eatonville, Washington
Kirkland, Washington
Puyallup, Washington
Vancouver, Washington
Beverly, West Virginia
Madison, Wisconsin
Menasha, Wisconsin
Stoughton, Wisconsin

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