Burning Bush, European (Euonymus europaeus)



(Euonymus europaeus)

Euonymus europaeus, known as spindle, and also as European spindle and common spindle, is a deciduous shrub or small tree in the family Celastraceae, native to much of Europe from Ireland and southern Scandinavia in the north, to northern Spain and Sicily in the south, and as far east as Lithuania, Asia Minor and up to the Caucasus.

It grows to 3 to 6 m tall, rarely up to 10 m, with a stem up to 20 cm diameter. The leaves are opposite, and are lanceolate to elliptical, 3 to 8 cm long and 1-3 cm broad, with a finely serrated edge. In autumn they often show a beautiful bright red color.

Burning-Bush-FlowersBurning Bush Flowers

The hermaphrodite flowers are produced in late spring and are insect-pollinated; they are rather inconspicuous, small, yellowish green and grow in cymes of 3-8 together. The capsular fruit ripens in autumn, and is red to purple or pink in color and approximately 1 to 1.5 cm wide. When ripe, the four lobes split open to reveal the orange seeds.

Burning-Bush-FriutBurning Bush Fruit

Burning-Bush-Emerld-gaietyBurning Bush Emerald Gaiety

Burning Bush – Emerald Gaiety:
The Euonymus ‘Emerald Gaiety’, Euonymus f. ‘Emerald Gaiety’, has deep green leaves edged in sparkling white. The leaves are tinged with pink in winter. This evergreen shrub has a dense erect habit and is excellent for small hedges and foundation plantings. Plant in full sun. Emerald Gaiety’s can become a climber if supported.

It does not like high winds but is otherwise very hardy. It does well under most light conditions from full sun to fairly deep shade. The flowers are easy to miss, but it can produce quite showy red inedible berries.

Burning-Bush-WingedBurning Bush Winged

Burning Bush – Winged :
Winged Burning Bush, ‘Euonymus alatus’, is a beautiful rounded US variety shrub with tiny yellow flowers in May-June and known best for its long lasting fiery red fall color. The inconspicuous flowers give way to paired or single reddish capsules that split to reveal orange fleshy seeds. (Four corky ridges appear along the length of young stems.) Corky wings on the branches provide additional winter interest.

Burning-Bush-CompactaBurning Bush Compacta

Burning Bush – Compacta:

The Burning Bush, Euonymus alatus ‘Compacta’ has an outstanding red fall color. The deep dark red leaves almost glow with color in the fall. The plant is shade tolerant but has inferior fall color and reduced density in shade. Burning Bush transplants easily and may be sheared. The corky wings on the twigs hold winter snow, outlining the branch structure.
The orange and red fruit is ornamental if produced in quantity, but plants vary in the amount of fruit they produce.

Toxic Principle:
The fruit is poisonous, containing amongst other substances, the alkaloids theobromine and caffeine, as well as an extremely bitter terpene.

Poisoning Symptoms include:
Ingestion can result in liver and kidney damage and even death.


Lone Star English Setter Club provides this information
as a partial reference of the potential poisons that could harm your dog.
We are not veterinarian’s and DO NOT provide medical help.


If you think that your animal is ill or may have ingested a poisonous substance,
contact your local veterinarian or
the ASPCA’s 24-hour emergency poisoning hotline directly