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Euonymus alatus is often confused with:
Euonymus japonicus Euonymus japonicus 'Microphyllus'
Eurya japonica
Native alternative(s) for Euonymus alatus:
Rhus aromatica Rhus aromatica 'Gro-low' in fall in Moore County
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Aesculus parviflora Aesculus parviflora seed
Aronia melanocarpa Aronia melanocarpa - berries and fall color
Cornus kousa Cornus kousa

Winged Euonymus Euonymus alatus

Other Common Name(s):

This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
This plant is an invasive species in North Carolina
Description

This plant, though a moderately weedy species of shrub, is drought tolerant and provides stunning red fall color.

This shrub has a tendency to spread beyond cultivated garden areas and into native habitats. Its invasive tendency has been noted in multiple eastern and midwestern states. It grows in woodland edges, lands, in forests, in mixed deciduous forests, on roadsides and any accessible areas where it may expand into a dense grove. It is weedy in disturbed areas around houses and buildings. Its growth tendency enables it to out-compete other plants. Its invasiveness has especially been noted in western North Carolina. Winged euonymus has escaped plantings and naturalized in at least 21 eastern and mid-western states. In some areas, it is now considered to be a threat to native plants because of its ability to establish itself in woodlands, forests, fields, roadsides and disturbed areas where, if conditions are favorable, it will out-compete native plants to form dense thickets. Consider less invasive shrubs in the Euonymus genus (closely related shrubs with similar characteristics).

When cultivated, it can withstand severe pruning to a small size and makes an excellent screen, hedge, or shrub border. It can be an upright mound, have horizontal branches, have a flat top, or even have multiple stems. Unpruned, the shrub grows tall, up to 20 feet by as much as 12 feet wide. More compact forms of the shrub ranging from 4 to 10 feet tall are available. See the cultivar list.

This plant needs full sun to partial shade (more shade equals poorer fall color quality). It withstands a range of soil types (except wet, poorly-drained) and needs well-drained soil. This plant appreciates consistent moisture, particularly when grown in full sun locations. In full sun locations, more consistent moisture is needed.

Seasons of Interest: 

     Leaves: Fall; Bloom: Insignificant; Fruit: Fall

The bright red leaves in the fall are its main attraction.

Seed: Capsule

This shrub, like most, is not edible. Its seeds are good for birds but not humans.  

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: No serious insect or disease problems. Twig blight may occur, particularly in wet soil conditions. Spider mites may appear on stressed plants.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Deciduous shrub with green, winged stems
  • Opposite leaves; leaf buds reddish,interrupt wing
  • Bright red leaf color in fall
  • Flat-topped and spreading.

Blooms in spring (inconspicuous); Fall color is a brilliant red (also called 'burning bush' by some people). Winter interest due to naked, winged branches; nice effect massed, as specimen plant or as hedge. 

Tolerant heavy pruning; pH adaptable; intolerant water-logged soil; prefers well-drained soil; no serious pest/disease problems. 

 

More information on Euonymus.

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#red#sun#deciduous#fall color#birds#poisonous#full sun#partial shade#drought tolerant#specimen#shrub#wildlife plant#weedy#fall interest#hedges#shrub border#screens#fantz
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#red#sun#deciduous#fall color#birds#poisonous#full sun#partial shade#drought tolerant#specimen#shrub#wildlife plant#weedy#fall interest#hedges#shrub border#screens#fantz
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Euonymus
    Species:
    alatus
    Family:
    Celastraceae
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Japan, China, Korea, Russia
    Wildlife Value:
    Fruit attracts birds who eat the seeds and distribute them. The fall berries are eaten by birds, and the seeds are easily spread by birds. It is attractive to deer. This plant is frequently damaged by deer.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Food Source
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Range of soil types; drought tolerant
    Dimensions:
    Height: 6 ft. 0 in. - 20 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 8 ft. 0 in. - 12 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Poisonous
    Shrub
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Erect
    Horizontal
    Mounding
    Multi-stemmed
    Multi-trunked
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Pink
    Red/Burgundy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Small red fleshy fruit ripens in fall within a red capsule. This plant has 0.5-0.3 in. red, pink, ivory to yellow capsule splitting to show orange-red seeds in the fall that are attractive to birds. The fall berries are eaten by birds, and the seeds are easily spread by birds. An obovoid, dehiscent capsule; single seed enclosed in orange-red aril.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    This plant has non-showy, small 4-petaled greenish-maroon flowers. A 3-flowered cyme, axillary. Yellow-green, 4-petaled, ca 6 mm.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Cuneate
    Elliptical
    Obovate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Crenate
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    This plant has elliptic to obovate, crenulate to serrulate opposite to sub-opposite, simple leaves that are 1-3 in. long and medium to dark green. They can be finely serrated with corky winged branches. Leaves provide excellent red fall color. Opposite, simple, elliptic-ovate to obovate, acute, cuneate, serrate, medium-dark green; buds green-brown-red, breaks the continuous wing.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Stems have corky "wings" and seed capsules on them hence the common name. Green to greenish-brown, alate with 2-4 prominate, corky wings 1/4-1/2" wide, new growth is reddish-green.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Hedge
    Screen/Privacy
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Problems:
    Invasive Species
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Children
    Weedy
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Poisonous through ingestion. Poisonous symptoms: abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, weakness, chills, and coma. TOXIC ONLY IF LARGE QUANTITIES EATEN. Ingesting large amounts of any part of the plant can result in poisoning. CHILDREN may be attracted to fruits in fall. No part of this plant is edible, including seeds: All parts are poisonous.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Unidentified, possibly a glycoside
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Bark
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Roots
    Sap/Juice
    Seeds
    Stems