Burning Bush - Euonymus alatus
The Burning Bush is frequently seen in urban and suburban settings, but it fares very well in places like industrial complexes and commercial sites. There are two main types of plants in this category, a full-size version, and a dwarf version. There is also a winged-branch variation that grows taller and bigger around reaching about 15 to 20 feet tall and 15 feet wide at the maximum. The winged species has a corky stem. The typical Burning Bush variety purchased at the garden center or landscaping company is the one that grows to a mature height of about 12 feet and gets to be 15 feet at the widest. This shrub is usually green with two leaves protruding from the stem at each point along the twig. It has yellow flowers in a four leaf pattern that grow with bright orange seeds hanging from them in the fall.
During the first two weeks of autumn, the Burning Bush turns a fiery red color that fades to a deep violet or ruddy pink. The color change is one of the reasons it is such a popular choice for commercial and residential properties alike. The bush turns a stunning red color in the fall if planted in full sun. Those planted in full shade often reach a pinkish-purple hue. Although this plant grows slowly, it does reproduce well. Many bird species love to eat the seeds of the Burning Bush. Offspring can easily be trimmed, sprayed, dug up, or transplanted if desired. It can thrive in any number of soil types from loose, rocky, and sandy to fertile, acidic, alkaline and non-fertile grounds. The only soil that it does not do well in is wet. It thrives in hardiness zones four through eight in North America. Many people do not know that the traditional shape of the Burning Bush is a vase instead of round or boxed because they are often trimmed in a more traditional design to fit it with landscapes and gardens.