American Strawberry Bush – Euonymus americanus

Strawberry bush is also known as hearts-a-burstin’ and grows to 4 – 6 ft in height. The spring flowers are hardly noticeable, but the fruit is where its name is derived, and very noticeable. It is a warty red capsule, approx 1 inch across that resembles a strawberry. It bursts open revealing 4 or 5 orange red seeds.

Strawberry bush caught the eye of early botanists who visited the New World, so

much so that in 1663 it was among the first American plants exported back to Europe for horticultural use. Native Americans used the roots of Strawberry bush to make a tea for stomach and urinary problems and uterine prolapse.

This plant is not for human ingestion as the fruit is poisonous. But for wildlife it is a well-loved fruit. The fruits apparently have no effect on Wild Turkeys, Wood Thrushes, Eastern Bluebirds, Yellow- rumped Warblers, and Northern Mockingbirds, which are among the few birds that consume the berries and disseminate the seeds. Although native deer browse Strawberry bush with impunity, the leaves and twigs are considered to be deadly poisonous to domestic sheep and cattle.

Strawberry Bush

Strawberry Bush

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