Monday, September 19, 2016
Exploring Our Woods
Anyway, the plant we were searching for is called Euonymus americanus. Some of its common names are American strawberry bush, Strawberry bush, Hearts-a-burstin, or Bursting heart. It is from the staff tree or bittersweet family(Celastraceae) of plants. It is one of our North American native species.
This very distinct and unusual shrub has dark green stems, bright green oval lance shaped leaves that have almost no stem and are pointed on both ends. The leaves will turn red in fall. The flowers are small greenish five petal flowers that kind of float above the leaves on their long-ish stems. The fruits and seeds are odd hard little round capsules that are a pinkish red and bumpy. When they are ripe and pop open they reveal bright orange seeds that hang on to the bottom of the capsule usually in groups of 4 or 5. It can grow to be between 2-6 feet tall. The pictures I was able to get are difficult to really see what the plant looks like, because the deer have mostly eaten all of the leaves off of the plant. But now I know that I didn't lose it and will be able to protect it next year.
Some of the other things we found on our explore.