Euonymus americanus: 'American Strawberry Bush'

Latin name:  Euonymus americanus 10
Common name:  American Strawberry Bush 10
Flowers: Small green-yellow flowers, non-showy, May-June 12
Fruit or cones: Bright red fruits open to reveal orange seeds 10
Height & Width:  4-5’ X 3-4’ 13
Type:  Deciduous perennial 10
Habit:  Woody shrub with erect stems 12
Wetland indicator category**: FAC 17
Texture:  Medium 12
Growth rate:  Medium 13
Light:  Part shade to full sun 13
Moisture:  Medium 12
Soil*: Tolerates a wide variety of soils including clay 12
Zones:  6-9 12
Origin:  Native to South Carolina and Southeast U.S. states 16
Ecosystem benefits: Fruits and seeds are a minor food source for songbirds 13

euonymus americanus American strawberry bush

Features:  American strawberry bush is a low maintenance, deciduous shrub with medium green leaves in spring and summer. The foliage changes to red or red-orange in the fall with green or purple stems in winter, depending on how much sun the shrub has. The more sun the plant receives, the more purple the stems become 13.

Siting:  American strawberry bush fruits best in light shade but will tolerate partial shade to full sun 13. It also tolerates a wide variety of soils (including clay) and is fairly tolerant of moist soils, as well as drought 13.

Care: Plant so root flare is visible at soil surface 14. At planting, water the root ball daily with two gallons of water per inch of trunk diameter for two weeks, every other day for two months and then weekly until established. Modify water recommendations to reflect site drainage and rainfall. Apply 3” of mulch over the planted area. Do not allow mulch to touch the trunk 14.  

Pests: American strawberry bush is relatively pest-resistant if cultural preferences are met, however it can be impacted by Euonymus Scale 10.

This plant does not appear on the following invasive plant lists on (3-1-21):

Author: Carson Colenbaugh

Image source:


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  2. Armitage, A. (2006). Armitage’s native plants for North American gardens. Portland, Oregon: Timber Press.
  3. Armitage, A. (2008). Herbaceous perennial plants: A treatise on their identification, culture, and garden attributes. Athens, GA: University of Georgia.
  4. Clemson Cooperative Extension Home and Garden Information Center.(2011). Flowers fact sheets. Retrieved from
  5. Clemson Cooperative Extension Home and Garden Information Center.(2011). Groundcovers & vines fact sheets. Retrieved from
  6. Clemson Cooperative Extension Home and Garden Information Center.(2011). Trees. Retrieved from
  7. Clemson Cooperative Extension Home and Garden Information Center.(2011). Shrubs. Retrieved from
  8. Dirr, M. A. (2009). Manual of woody landscape plants. Champaign, IL: Stipes Publishing.
  9. Gilman, E. F. (1997). Trees for urban and suburban landscapes. Albany, NY: Delmar Publishers.
  10. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center University of Texas at Austin. (2012). Native plant information network. Retrieved from
  11. McMillan, P., Plant taxonomist Clemson University, personal communication.
  12. Missouri Botanical Garden Kemper Center for Home Gardening. Plant finder. Retrieved from
  13. North Carolina State University (2005). Plant fact sheets. Retrieved from
  14. Strother, E. V., Ham, D. L., Gilland, L. (2003) Urban tree species guide: Choosing the right tree for the right place.  Columbia, SC: South Carolina Forestry Commission.
  15. University of Florida, IFAS Extension. (2011). Southern trees fact sheet. Retrieved from
  16. USDA . Plant profile. (n/d).Retrieved from
  17. USDA. Plant wetland indicator status. (n/d). Retrieved from
  18. Vincent, E., Environmental horticulturist Clemson University, personal communication.

*Soil pH is determined using a professional soil test. Contact your Clemson University County Extension service for assistance Click on “local offices”.

**2012 Plant Wetland Indicator categories (quantitative derived)


Indicator Code

Indicator Status



Obligate Wetland

Almost always is a hydrophyte, rarely in uplands


Facultative Wetland

Usually is a hydrophyte but occasionally found in uplands



Commonly occurs as either a hydrophyte or non-hydrophyte


Facultative Upland

Occasionally is a hydrophyte but usually occurs in uplands


Obligate Upland

Rarely is a hydrophyte, almost always in uplands