That's Invasive? Winged Burning Bush ~ Euonymus alatus

Winged Burning Bush ~ Euonymus alatus

Native to: Asia

Best Method of Removal: Cut and treat woody stems with glyphosate, hand pull seedlings

Interim Measures: Cut back after flowering to prevent seed formation

Native Alternatives: Serviceberries (Amelanchier species), Black Chokeberry, Downy Arrowwood Viburnum, Nannyberry Viburnum, Winterberry

Winged Burning Bush is a very common landscape shrub, valued for its bright red fall color. Its wings or corky ridges on the stems are also one of its distinguishing features.

I just started to notice Winged Burning Bush in woodlands in Minnesota last year. Working in a local park flagging native plants, I came across several seedlings.

This year I have found several seedlings and mature plants in local parks in Carver and Hennepin county.

Several seedlings were pulled out of my own yard this fall too. Many of my neighbors have this shrub in their landscape.

Like many other invasive shrubs, the seedlings hold their leaves longer than native species, so it is easy to spot these intruders in the late fall.

James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service,

Winged Burning Bush flowers in the spring, the flowers are small, four petaled and light yellow. The resulting red fruit is attractive to birds who help to distribute this plant into natural and disturbed areas. "Once established, it can form dense thickets that displace native vegetation." (Invasive Plant Atlas)

I took this photo this fall. It's of a fairly mature Winged Burning Bush growing in the deciduous understory of a Carver County park.

Around this shrub were about a dozen seedlings ranging from 4-18 inches in height.

Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut,

This image was taken of an infestation in northeastern United States where this shrub has been become an acute problem.

Link to Interactive Map
The EDDMapS map shows only reported cases. If you see Winged Burning Bush in your area, notify your local county or State DNR.

More Info:
Forest Service Fact Sheet
Pennsylvania DNR
Wisconsin DNR