|photo taken at Edwin Warner Park|
Strawberry bush/Hearts-a-bustin' is a delicate, airy deciduous shrub that can grow to 10' tall under ideal conditions. Which means it's closer to 5 foot in my garden. It is native to wooded slopes, moist woodland and creek or river areas, and is found in a variety of soil conditions ranging from sandy to clay. The typical range is from New York coast all the way south and across Texas and inland to the midwest from all those points. (source)
|5 green petals which frequently have a reddish tinge|
If a plant were to be chosen just for its bloom, Strawberry bush might not make the cut. Most people are under awed by the Spring flowers, in fact, they might even miss them. They are tiny and pale with 5 green petals that have a reddish tinge. In order to see them you are going to have to get quite close, which might mean getting down on your knees, since they're only 1/2 inch wide! I think they're worth crawling around on the woodland floor to see.
|as they ripen they look like strawberries and give rise to one of its common names~Strawberry bush.|
|Day-Glo orange arils dangle like bright ornaments|
|The inconspicuous flowers attract small bees and flies.|
I love this marvelous semi evergreen native with its spindly branches, its unusual spring flowers, its developing strawberry fruits, and its gorgeous hearts-a-bustin' open ripe fruit.
...and I appreciate its wildlife value. The inconspicuous flowers attract small bees and flies. The foliage is eaten by moth caterpillars. The aril covering the seed is very attractive to birds and small mammals and is a great source of fat and sugar for these animals (source). Birds that have been observed include the Northern Flicker, Brown Thrasher, Catbird, Eastern Bluebird, Cardinal, and Eastern Towhee. (Source: Morton Arboretum). Visiting birds help spread the seeds to new locations.
This gardener thinks it's time for more nurseries to offer this striking native shrub to gardeners who appreciate the different and unusual.
Botanical name: Euonymus americanus
Common Name: strawberry bush, hearts-a-bustin
Phonetic Spelling yoo-ON-ih-mus a-mer-ih-KAY-nus
Type: Deciduous shrub
Native Range: Eastern United States. The typical range is from New York coast all the way south and across Texas and inland to the midwest from all those points.
Zone: 6 to 9
Height: 4.00 to 6.00 feet
Spread: 4.00 to 6.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to May (Zone7a)
Flower: Not a flashy flower, Green to greenish-yellow with purple stamens
Fruit: Showy in fall
Leaf: Pale fall leaf color. Looks great in a woodland garden
Sun: Part shade
Wildlife value: Birds, small flies and bees
Comments: Will grow in clay soil, tolerates black walnuts, Deer candy. Poisonous, plant away from children who might be tempted by their strawberry looks.
Suggested Use: Hedge, Naturalize. It will set seed and in ideal conditions could form a thicket.
Welcome to Clay and Limestone's Wildflower Wednesday celebration. WW is about sharing and celebrating wildflowers from all over this great big, beautiful world. Join us on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Please add your url to Mr Linky and leave a comment.
Gail Eichelberger is a gardener and therapist in Middle Tennessee. She loves wildflowers and native plants and thoroughly enjoys writing about the ones she grows at Clay and Limestone. She reminds all that the words and images are the property of the author and cannot be used without written permission.