Invasive Species -


Winged euonymus, Burning bush, Winged burning bush, Winged wahoo, Winged spindle-tree
(Euonymus alata (Thunb.) Siebold)


Photos & Description courtesy of IPANE

Where it's from

Northeast Asia


What Winged euonymus / Burning bush does to the habitat

Winged Euonymus creates thick colonies that outcompete for light and space in the understory. It shuts out native species and orphans the birds and butterflies that depend on them.



You can pull out saplings as they readily identify themselves with the wings on the stalks. For larger trees you can dig them out or use a weedwrench.


You could also cut with loppers or chain saw and spray the cuts ends with Round Up, or if you prefer to spray the foliage, do it in the summer.


Common Name

Full Scientific Name

Winged euonymus
Burning bush
Winged burning bush
Winged wahoo
Winged spindle-tree

Euonymus alata (Thunb.) Siebold

Family Name Common

Family Scientific Name

Staff-tree family Euonymus alata


Botanical Glossary

Euonymus alata is a deciduous shrub that can grow to 2.5 m (8.2 ft.) in height. The most distinguishing features of this plant are the 2-4 broad, corky wings along the branches. However, sometimes individuals may lack wings (as in the cultivar, 'Compactus'). The branches of Euonymus alata are gray-brown in color. The leaves are 2.4-7.2 cm (1-3 in.) long, 1.3-3.2 cm (0.5-1.25 in.) wide, taper at both ends, and are positioned opposite to sub-opposite along the branches. They have short petioles, are finely and sharply serrate at the margins. This plant is very conspicuous in the fall as the leaves turn from dark green to a bright red. The inconspicuous flowers of Euonymus alata appear in late April to June. They usually have four greenish-yellow petals, and are arranged with 1-3 flowers in a cyme. The fruit appear from September to October and are 1.3 cm (0.5 in.) long. The ovary walls are red-purple, and split open to reveal up to 4 seeds with waxy red-orange arils. Page References Gleason & Cronquist 329, Holmgren 308, Magee & Ahles 716.

Previous Image | Back to Gallery | Next Image