Plant Family / Families: Celastraceae
Scientific Name and Author: Euonymus americanus L.
Name Location: Red River Gorge, Kentucky, USA
Thanks to Ruth for todayâ€™â€™s write-up:
Thank you to nebulagirl@Flickr for the sharing of this beautiful photograph (original via the BPotD Flickr Photo Pool). It was taken in Red River Gorge, Kentucky during the month of October.
As the Latin name suggests, Euonymus americanus is a native of the United States â€” specifically the eastern continental side â€” with a range extending west to Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. Commonly known as hearts-a-bursting or strawberry bush, this shrub grows to 2 meters (6 ft) in height, and has a similar width. The habit is open and straggly. Flowers grow in the leaf axils where the ovaries develop into the warty capsules we observe in this photograph. The fruit reminds me of Arbutus unedo, also called strawberry bush or tree. However, Arbutus unedo (Ericaceae) has fleshy aggregate fruits that are edible and never dehisce or split open to release the seeds. It also has urceolate (urn-shaped) flowers, indicative of the Ericaceae. The Celastraceae is a predominantly tropical family with only three genera from the temperate regions (Euonymus, Maytenus and Celastrus).
Additional photographs are available from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center: Euonymus americanus.
By:Â Â Daniel MosquinÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Source