Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Euonymus americanus L.
- Family: Bittersweet (Celastraceae)
- Flowering: May-June
- Field Marks: This shrub differs from other erect shrubs in the genus Euonymus by its short
stalks only 1/8 inch long. It differs from other associated species of shrubs by its green square
- Habitat: Low rich woods, wooded slopes, stream banks, low ground near swamps.
- Habit: Shrub up to 8 feet tall.
- Stems: Gray, usually 4-angled, smooth.
- Leaves: Opposite, simple, broadly lanceolate to oblong-lanceolate, usually pointed at the tip,
tapering or rounded at the nearly sessile base, finely round-toothed, smooth on both surfaces,
except for hairs sometimes on the veins of the lower surface.
- Flowers: 1-3 in the axils of the leaves, greenish purple, on slender stalks up to 1 inch long.
- Sepals: 5, green, united below.
- Petals: 5, greenish, free from each other, nearly orbicular, usually finely toothed at the tip.
- Stamens: 5, attached to a fleshy disk.
- Pistils: Ovary superior, surrounded by a fleshy disk.
- Fruits: Capsule 3- to 5-lobed, flattened on top, crimson, covered with tiny warts, splitting open
to expose the red-orange seeds.
- Notes: The leaves stay on the plant until November or December in the warmer parts of its range.
The capsules persist until after the seeds have fallen.
Previous Species -- Swamp Cyrilla (Cyrilla racemiflora)
Return to Species List -- Group 5
Next Species -- Carolina Ash (Fraxinus caroliniana)