winged burning bush

Celastrales > Celastraceae > Euonymus alatus (Thunb.) Sieb.
Synonym(s): burning bush, winged euonymus, winged spindletree

Winged burning bush is a deciduous shrub, up to 20 ft. (6.1 m) in height, which invades forests throughout the eastern United States. Occasionally, four corky ridges appear along the length of young stems. The opposite, dark green leaves are < 2 in. (5 cm) long, smooth, rounded and taper at the tips. The leaves turn a bright crimson to purplish color in the fall. The flowers are inconspicuous, greenish yellow and have 4 petals. Flowers develop in the spring and lay flat against the leaves. Fruit are reddish capsules that split to reveal orange fleshy seeds. Winged burning bush can invade a variety of disturbed habitats including forest edges, old fields, and roadsides. Birds readily disperse the seeds, allowing for many long dispersal events. Once established, it can form dense thickets that displace native vegetation. Winged burning bush is native to northeastern Asia and was first introduced into North America in the 1860s for ornamental purposes. It currently continues to be sold and planted as an ornamental or roadside hedge.


Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources

  • Weeds of the Week - USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Area, Forest Health Protection

Selected Images from Invasive.org

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Seedling(s);
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); April
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); in December
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Foliage; May
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Foliage; Maturing fruit and foliage beginning to turn bright red in October
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Foliage; Fall leaf color and stem in November
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Twig(s)/Shoot(s); Close-up of stem showing wings
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
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Twig(s)/Shoot(s); April
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Bark; April
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s); October
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s);
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
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Invasive Reference(s):

Check Invasive.org for most current lists.
  • Georgia - EPPC list
  • Kentucky - EPPC List
  • Massachusetts - Noxious Weed Law
  • New Hampshire - Noxious Weed Law
  • Rhode Island - Noxious Weed Law
  • South Carolina - EPPC List
  • Tennessee - EPPC List
  • Virginia - Invasive Alien Plant Species
  • Mid-Atlantic - EPPC List
  • Invasive Plants: Guide to Identification and the Impacts and Control of Common North American Species
  • Invasive Plants of the Upper Midwest
  • Invasive Plant Atlas of New England


External Links


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USDA Forest Service Bugwood University of Georgia