winged burning bush (Euonymus alatus)
Celastraceae, the staff-tree family

Winged burning bush is also known as winged wahoo. Excuse me…winged wahoo is a nice name, but I have an irrational fear of the letter “W.” 

It’s called “winged burning bush,” after its brilliant fall foliage. 

How to recognize winged burning bush. This is a nonnative shrub with oppositely arranged leaves that are elliptic, long-pointed, and finely serrate. The most distinctive feature is the elaborately winged stems.

winged burning bush

Ooh ooh. I have a question!

Are there any native members of the genus Euonymus in Ohio?

Yes, there are three. One of them, running strawberry-bush, was seen growing at Stratford just beneath the invasive winged burning bush. It is a prostrate woody vine with obovate leaves. 

running strawberry-bush foliage

The fruits are amazing! They are bumpy pink capsules bursting open to reveal a few large seeds, each covered with an red-orange seed coat.

running strawberry-bush fruits at Stratford 
October 17, 2022)

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