This is the time when Burning Bush earns its common name. The upright branches are afire in scarlet, crimson, even pushing into brilliant, fuchsia pink. In its prime, Burning Bush can rival any tree for the hottest fall colour. Burning Bush, or Euonymus Alatus, also called Winged Euonymus (because of wing shaped ridges on its branches), is an easy to grow, deciduous shrub that quietly provides a medium green backdrop through spring and summer. Then in the fall, those quiet leaves turn fierce for a fiery red show. There are insignificant white summer blooms that turn into red berries, often hidden in the foliage. Burning Bush does have some downfalls: the spectacular colour is not dependable with best results in a full sun, not too dry a location, it grows large for a shrub, and it’s considered tasty by deer and rabbits. The rabbits have pruned my shrubs a few times, but they bounce back fine. Burning Bush is tolerant of pruning or shearing, so that can be a solution to its size. The question will be – do you have the space and patience for this shrub, to make the 2-3 weeks of stellar fall colour worthwhile?
Technical stuff – Burning Bush/Euonymus Alatus, deciduous shrub hardy to Zone 5, height of 8’ – 20’ depending on variety, full sun, non-descript summer blooms turning into small red berries, refuted for brilliant fall leaf colour. Note that in parts of the US this shrub is considered invasive.