Strawberry Bush, Bursting-Heart, Hearts a' Bustin, Brook Euonymus

Euonymus americanus

Family: Celastraceae
Genus: Euonymus (yoo-ON-ih-mus) (Info)
Species: americanus (a-mer-ih-KAY-nus) (Info)
Synonym:Euonymus americana





Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


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)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade


Seed is poisonous if ingested

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow

Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)


Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer



Good Fall Color

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Cullman, Alabama

Houston, Alabama

New Market, Alabama

Pelham, Alabama

Spanish Fort, Alabama

Vincent, Alabama

Bigelow, Arkansas

Morrilton, Arkansas

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Keystone Heights, Florida

Atlanta, Georgia

Cleveland, Georgia

Colbert, Georgia

Commerce, Georgia

Dacula, Georgia

Dallas, Georgia

Dawsonville, Georgia

Lizella, Georgia

Mcdonough, Georgia

Snellville, Georgia

Tucker, Georgia

Winder, Georgia

Palatine, Illinois

Louisville, Kentucky (2 reports)

Baton Rouge, Louisiana (3 reports)

Mandeville, Louisiana

Ellicott City, Maryland

La Plata, Maryland

Valley Lee, Maryland

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Pontotoc, Mississippi

Sturgis, Mississippi

Helena, Montana

Sparks, Nevada

Frenchtown, New Jersey

Selden, New York

Apex, North Carolina

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Charlotte, North Carolina

Dunn, North Carolina

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Franklin, North Carolina

Leland, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina

Roaring River, North Carolina

Rutherfordton, North Carolina

Trinity, North Carolina

Honobia, Oklahoma

Berwyn, Pennsylvania

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Columbia, South Carolina

Conway, South Carolina

Lyman, South Carolina

Spartanburg, South Carolina

Dickson, Tennessee

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Memphis, Tennessee

Nashville, Tennessee

Stewart, Tennessee

Dallas, Texas

Houston, Texas

Missouri City, Texas

Woodville, Texas

Arlington, Virginia

Callao, Virginia

Fredericksburg, Virginia (2 reports)

Rhoadesville, Virginia

Roanoke, Virginia

Puyallup, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 22, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

Jenkins Arboretum in southeast Pennsylvania has several plantings of this nice native plant of fine or fine-medium texture. I like this Hearts-A-Burstin or Strawberry-bush or American Burningbush much better than the over-planted, extremely thick growing Winged Euonymus Burningbush from northeast Asia.


On Sep 25, 2013, Clint07 from Bethlehem, PA wrote:

Growing for maybe 8 years in the shade of old, tall sycamores in 6A, this beauty has reached a height of 8 feet. With tree leaves starting to fall now (late September), it's reached its peak of gaudiness. This year it has retained almost all of its capsules, moreso than previous years.

We have it growing amid a row of Skimmia japonica, whose berries have also reddened. A great show, and no one else in our neighborhood of good gardeners has either of them.


On Sep 21, 2012, Rebeccatowoc from Stewart, TN wrote:

We were camping at our future retirement homesite (Houston County, TN) when we came across this green-twigged plant with strange fruit. Not able to identify it at the time, we hated the idea of it being destroyed during construction and so attempted to move it. This effort turned into such a brutal struggle that we feared the odd shrub would not survive. It was so weak I put it on a trellis and tried to cut away some surrounding tree branches so it would get a little sun. Bit by bit the plant grew stronger (and I found out what it was.) This past summer I was afraid to go back into the brush to check on it because we've had so many snakes this year, and feared the plant had died during the drought. Yesterday it was cool enough to go back there and I am delighted to report the "hearts... read more


On Oct 5, 2009, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

zone 4 hardy


On Oct 11, 2007, WaterCan2 from Eastern Long Island, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:

It definetly likes it moist and semi-shady. I have them in a spot where they get the pm sun. A dependable performer it stays inconspicuous until fall when it steals the show!

* Special thanks to "TomH3787 and plantladylin" for identifying it for me, I did'nt know what it was!!


On Jan 8, 2007, passiflora_pink from Central, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

Beautiful fruits! Really brightens the autumn and early winter flower bed in Alabama.


On Jul 24, 2006, aprilwillis from Missouri City, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I had planted the parent plant in what I thought was adequate shade and when it became clear to me that the plant would not survive I gave it to my daughter; in the process I dislodged a small stem w/ only 2 leaves at the distal end. I potted that stem - thinking it would never root; it has flourished in a small pot in deep shade and is a very attractive plant.


On Jan 22, 2006, ViburnumValley from Scott County, KY (Zone 5b) wrote:

I have observed that the strawberry bush grows primarily on soils on the acid side of neutral, whereas its cousin the eastern wahoo is primarily found on circumneutral or limestone-based soils. Strawberry bush also seems to appreciate more shade, where eastern wahoo can happily grow in much sunnier drier sites. A partner in woodlands with Viburnum acerifolium and Lindera benzoin, Euonymus americanus is a fine little indigenous shrub that is a beneficial addition to any native landscape.


On Sep 15, 2004, MinnieBee from Columbus, GA wrote:

I found this plant growing in the woods where we live (Columbus, GA). Had no idea what it was until I saw it growing at Callaway Gardens (Pine Mountain, GA) and it was labelled 'Strawberry Bush'. I moved the plant out of the woods into our yard in a partial sun location. That was 3 years ago and it's doing great. Also found another one growing in the woods and moved it to another partial sun location in our yard last fall, but the deer also found it! This one has not done as well as the other one. I have noticed that the first one is planted near our pond and the other one is in the front yard where I have to water it more. The first one stays green, flowers, and now has lots of red seed pods on it. The one in the front will be moved this fall to the back near the pond. It has no seed po... read more


On Sep 13, 2004, Toxicodendron from Piedmont, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

A delightful native plant that doesn't get noticed until it reveals it's hot pink fruit capsules with orange-red seeds in late summer. Usually grows in the shady understory of larger trees along streams. Deer and rabbits love to eat it and turkeys enjoy the fruits. The seeds have a laxative effect and the bark induces vomiting, among other purported uses. This plant is rare in Missouri but is common in many other states from Florida and Texas to New York and Indiana.


On Jun 18, 2004, Fran99 from Spartanburg, SC wrote:

Inconspicuous shrub except in fruit. Lovely find in wooded areas.


On May 16, 2004, raisedbedbob from Walkerton, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant, also known as "Hearts-a -Bustin" is native to Zone 7b. The inconspicuous pale yellow flowers are followed in the fall by spectacular magenta capsules containing bright orange seeds. It is a delightful sight in the otherwise dull understory of the fall forest in this region.