Euonymus americanus / Hearts-a-Bursting


Hearts-a-bursting is a shrub found in moist forest understories and sandy low woods. Its unusual common name arises from its magenta fruit capsules that split open to reveal pendant red arils – a very colorful show. The plant is highly shade tolerant and will sometimes seek sunny spots in the understory with lax, layering stems.

In landscaping, it is showy and unusual, making it a fine centerpiece. Its shade tolerance and slender form make it suitable for woodland gardens. It spreads by suckering and layering but is not highly aggressive.

Form: Shrub

Height: to 6′

Fruits: September-October

Siting: In sun to shade, average to moist soils

Deer Resistance: Low

Provenance: NJ



Wildlife Associations: Fruits are consumed by songbirds. Its pollination ecology is not well documented.

Restoration: Secondary species used as an adaptable, highly shade tolerant understory species in many forest types, if deer access is restricted.

Herbalism: This is a powerful agent with toxicity issues and is little known in contemporary herbalism.

Edibility: Toxic

Other uses: Unknown

Additional information


Quart, Deep, Gallon