Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wildflower Wednesday~~Hearts-A-Bustin

Euonymus americanus

Hearts-A-Bustin is in full autumn fruiting.
A common shrub of the southern woodlands that
often goes unnoticed, even when flowering! But, as soon as the fruiting berries pop open to reveal its

brilliant orange seeds, there is no ignoring it.
That's not all!
Its leaves turn a ghostly white and
cling to the wiry stems for a very long time.
But not yet!
Right now, its about those berries and seeds
and the heart that has busted open!

...and those seeds make wonderful little Hearts-A-Bustin plants!

It's growing in amended clay soil in the full sun,
along with Tennessee Coneflower and Salvia azurea.
They look surprisingly good together.
If you garden in hardiness zones 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9,
it will grow for you!

The bad news ~
I am sorry to tell you this, Cameron!
It's a favorite deer food.

AND, one more thing!

My heart is a bustin with gratitude.

I am tickled Practically Perfect Pink
that you voted for Clay and Limestone
as Best Native Gardening Blog, Best Commenter and Most User Friendly Blog!

What a delight and honor it was to be in the company of the stellar nominees
in each of those categories.

Thank you~~
for reading my blog;
for taking time to make your wonderful comments;
for your friendship;
and for honoring me with these awards.
You are the dearest of people...
It's you who are the best.



  1. Many congratulations n your awards, Gail!! What a beautiful and unusual plant, it is totally unknown to me! Beautiful seeds!

  2. I love this plant but I've never grown it successfully. Congratulations on your awards - you so deserved them!

  3. Congratulations Gail... love your blog, you really have a great blog here!

  4. Congratulations on the awards!
    I would dearly love to get rid of my stupid Euonymous alata and get one of these instead. It's ok that it's deer candy, it would be going into a place where they deer don't go.

  5. Your honors are well deserved. I love this plant one month out of twelve. It is sort of stringy and non-descript the other eleven.

  6. Some well deserved wins for you dear Gail! I've never heard of Hearts-A-Bustin, but glad you shared it with me. And I'm so glad you enjoyed my sunsets. Our old home was surrounded by old trees, but our new home lets me see sunsets every night!

  7. I agree with Les, much deserved! I always learn so much from your posts...!

  8. Congratulations on the well-deserved awards! I bet the Euonymus-coneflower-salvia combo looks wonderful!

  9. Hearts-a-bustin! What a great name... and how fitting for this post when you're heart is probably bursting, too. :-) You are a sweetheart. My heart is very happy for you. Love & Hugs. Do something special, now!

  10. Hi Gail! I've never heard of that plant. It is cool looking! I am tickled that you won 3 first places in the blotanical awards! Congratulations!

  11. Congrats on your awards, well deserved. I love your blog, and am thrilled that you won.


  12. Gail,
    You're totally deserving of the awards, and I love Heart's a' Busting, too -- great photos.

  13. Gail, your awards are much deserved so congratulations. You really were in stellar company with those nominees so as you know, it's quite an honor. I LOVE the look of that bush, btw. It's very cool.

  14. This is a beautiful plant, Gail! I can see why you are taken with those seeds and berries.

    Congratulations on your awards, Gail! You deserve every one of them. I was so happy to see many of my favorite blogs in the nominations. I think Tennessee must have the corner on excellent gardening blogs!

  15. What a cool shrub! It looks unreal! And congratulations on your awards, but of course your readers get the real award: getting to read your postings. Happy Autumn!

  16. Gail you deserve those awards and more. Your blog is wonderful.

    Hearts-a-bustin grows wild here but I don't see it fruiting very often because the deer like it so much. Which is too bad because those ripe fruits are so striking.

  17. Gail, darlin', I have to say I was amazed at the serendipity of seeing this shrub or small tree on your blog today. I saw this plant *everywhere* on the GWA story tours. It was in every public garden, and what's weird is that I'd never seen it before in my life. Congrats on the Blotanical win. You so deserve it.~~Dee

  18. Congratulations Gail.
    I really like that bush. I just heard of it & saw a pic. I thought then that it sure was a pretty bush. Will have to check it out.

  19. Congrats on the Bloggies, Gail! Your blog is absolutely wonderful.

  20. Congrats to you Gail on your award! It is well deserved. I always enjoy reading your posts.

    Hearts A'Bustin, love the shrub and the song - I wrote about this shrub early on in my blogging 'career'...great song written by Billy Joe Shaver about the bush and his wife.

  21. this is a great plant so interesting. i can't wait to see the white leaves.
    congrats on your awards...how wonderful. one day i want to have as many natives as you do.
    happy fall.

  22. Congratulations, Gail, on your well earned awards! That plant is extraordinary! I've never seen anything like it.

  23. Congratulations Gail!

    If you're first, we don't mind being second ;-> Looking forward to more amazing photos and wonderful posts.

  24. Kudos, Gail ... and why you won ... another delightful post!

  25. Congratulations Gail! I love your Euonymus americanus... but even it would grow here, I most likely would be frustrated for the deer would eat the berries, before i could enjoy them... from what you say. Beautiful photos! Beautiful blog! I enjoy your writing too. Carol

  26. I have always loved those berries,
    They remind me of the burning bush, a cousin of this i think, those really bring a good light back to
    euonymus horay for planting native!
    (if only someone around here would have thought of that with the chinese privet hedge decades ago we wouldn't be wading through it on our nature hikes eh!)
    And a big congrats to you for the nomination! You are an awesome blogger and have helped me getting started along the way,given great advice to the newby(myself)and i am so thankful!
    I hope you'll take a look at my new blog on my own personal collection "the hanging gardens of epicrazy!" i recently started

  27. Your blogg is lovely! And the name of it is great, I wish I had thought of it. Maybe I can translate it to Swedish... It could work and would nicely describe my soil.

  28. Dear Gail, I am so proud of you, words cannot express the swelling of my heart, dare we say it, and bursting, with happiness for you. You OWN the natives and have made a huge contribution to the blogging world by bringing these wildflowers to our attention. Our gardens and hearts are richer thanks to your comments and friendliness, my dear dear friend. :-)

  29. What a delightful plant. I have never seen or heard of this delightful shrub. I will have to try to find it. It should grow here.

    Congrats on your awards. They are perfect for you.

  30. Dear Friends, You are truly the best! Thank you, thank, thank you!

    Hearts-A-Bustin is a delicious shrub/small tree for the woodland garden. Its wiry green stems are a nice counterpoint to the lushness of other plants. If you're in the right zone...give it a try.


  31. Gail, I'm a sucker for a great plant name, so will look into this. I'm already a fan of the euonymus berry (using that term loosely) and these ones look particularly neat.

    Congratulations heart-bustingly on all your Blotanical wins!

  32. Congratulations, Gail, dear! So very well deserved! Your blog invariably brightens our day. But alas, our own poor little hearts-a-bustin' continues to languish. Maybe that's because we planted it under a (gack) Norway maple...

  33. Gail, congratulations!!!! All the best to you, your garden and your great blog!

  34. Hi Gail, yours in one of my very favorite blogs. I love the way you have incorporated natives into your landscape. Congratulations.

    Thanks for reminding me about euonymus. I have an interesting one in my hedgerow to check for seeds.

  35. Congratulations on your award.
    I can't see how Hearts-A-Bustin could be missed with colours like that!

  36. Lovely interesting flowers and photos. Congratulations on your awards.

  37. Well, what a coincidence! I nearly posted a photo of exactly the same shrub yesterday, as we loved it when we visited the garden I wrote about. However, the photo was just a teensiest out of focus - probably OK in the post itself, but a complete no-no when clicked on to enlarge.

    I'm so glad you posted your photo and I'm even more delighted at your Blotanical wins. Congratulations!

  38. Yeah Gail! Well done. Was wondering what that lovely plant was that I saw when I was in NC - looked similar to our Euonymus purpureus - but prettier of course because of the busting heart part. I always learn something at Clay and Limestone.

  39. Gail, you are well deserving of your Blotanical awards! Congratulations!

  40. Don't understand....
    Voted you as the BEST in more categories than you won.
    Go figure.
    Still glad you got recognized.
    CONGRATS !!!

  41. Who could miss a plant like that? It wonderful! BTW, congrats on your awards!

  42. OK, those photos are just COOL! I love that plant!

  43. What a cool shrub Gail!

    Congratulations on your Blotanical wins! Hugs, Linda

  44. Those are some really neat looking flowers. I can't imagine them being overlooked!
    Congrats on your award, you deserve it!

  45. Wow - that plant's fruiting body is surreal! I've never seen one of those before. Heart's a bustin' - great name too. Congrats on your award! - You have a wonderful blog and we certainly couldn't'a been beaten by a nicer blogger.

  46. My heart's a-bustin for you, Gail - congratulations on your awards - all well-deserved. I don't think I've ever seen this plant before and I'm looking for some plants to brighten up my shady areas.

  47. Congrats on your awards Gail. You have a wonderfully inviting blog that is a delight to visit. I love Hearts a busting ~ very cool.

  48. WOO HOOOOO! Gail, I'm so happy you won these awards. You know I voted for you, for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which is that you deserved to win! Congratulations and keep doing what you do! *hugs*

  49. Congratulations Gail on your blotanical awards! I'm a bit behind but wanted to add my smiles for you. Well deserved!

  50. YOU ARE TRULY THE BEST. Thank you, gail


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