Winged Burning Bush

Winged burning bush. Photo by Oregon State University.

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Common Name: Winged burning bush
Scientific Name: Euonymus alatus
Origin: Asia


Winged burning bush is a deciduous shrub that can grow up to 20 feet tall and wide. Its leaves are simple, opposite, and 1-3 inches long with smooth edges. Green during the summer, foliage transitions to a vibrant red in the fall. Stems are green to brown in color with four prominent wings. Plants flower in May or early-June, producing small green flowers. Fruits mature in later summer into small, oval, bright red berries.


Frequently planted as a landscape species, winged burning bush escapes to natural areas via bird dispersed seed. Shrubs are adaptable to a variety of soil and light conditions, and can be found in forested wetlands, forest understories, riparian corridors, and right-of-ways.


Winged burning bush is shade tolerant and can easily spread long distances via bird dispersed seed. It can quickly become established in forest understories, outcompeting and displacing native woody vegetation.

NYS Threat Ranking Assessment Score = Very High, 81.25


Do not plant winged burning bush. Small plants can be managed by hand pulling or digging prior to seed formation. Larger infestations can be controlled using an herbicide. Glyphosate and triclopyr based products are effective for foliar spray and cut stump treatments.

Distribution: View Map