The burning bushes are a small group, three varieties, but are distinctly showy and worth planting. The name comes from its fall show of leaf color. Bright crimson reds are seen most fall seasons.

The most noticeable is the winged euonymus, Euonymus alatus. The wings are corky ridges of bark that run along the branch. Usually there are four of these ridges. In between them the bark is smooth. Bark is a fascinating study; as the branch expands each year, the bar is pulled and stretched along and across the branch creating a variety of patterns, a different one for each species. Knowing the bark is to know the tree or shrub Buds, flowers and leaves come and go, but the bark is always there for positive identification. The winged euonymus grows to about a metre high. They are a little scruffy but make a good feature shrub.

The other two euonymus are the Euonymus nana, more of a dwarf variety growing to about a metre high, and Euonymus nana 'Turkestanicus', a larger form that can be about two metres high and nearly as wide. These plants are almost identical except for the size difference. The flowers are noticeable pink capsules, like a string of little pink lanterns.

Articles Index