Fall Color Primer 8: Burning Bush, Euonymus alatus
Fall Color Primer 08: Burning Bush, Euonymus alatus
There are many species of euonymus, but the one that provides the most spectacular fall color, from the beginning of the season to the last, is Euonymus alatus. It’s called ‘Burning Bush’ for good reason.
These shrubs are widely planted in yards, parks, cemeteries, botanical gardens and arboretums, commercial and university campuses, even highway rest areas (as shown in my poster). They’re everywhere! There are compact or dwarf varieties, but the full-sized varieties can reach quite impressive heights and breadths when left to run rampant. They can be pruned into tree-like conformations, and in such shapes they can grow tall enough to walk beneath comfortably.
The color is a distinctive red with blue undertones that can give an impression of pinkish red or fuchsia from a distance, or when seen in shady or overcast conditions. I’ve included a landscape shot with a red maple tree so you can instantly compare the two very different reds. As the season progresses, the deep red color can fade to a dusty pink before the leaves fall. The fruit can be inconspicuous unless viewed up close. It consists of shiny orange berries that emerge from darker red or even purple pods whose sections open out, but remain clasping the stems that bear the fruit.
Many of my euonymus shots this year were taken in cemeteries, but I don’t want to give the impression that that’s where most of them grow in Michigan. It’s just not convenient to photograph in the yards of private residences, where most local euonymus is found. It would require soliciting the home owners’ permissions. It’s just easier to find good specimens that are growing on public property. Many plantings on commercial property and university campuses are up against buildings, which also limits photographic access. This is a general problem when photographing shrubs. It’s not unique to euonymus. Trees tend to be growing in more open situations, and if on private property, they can still be photographed from the street or sidewalk, without having to be on the actual property.
All the uncropped, full resolution shots of euonymus, those used in this poster and others, are available in this gallery: https://arctangent.smugmug.com/SeasonsoftheYear-3/4th-Fall/Fall-shrubs-by-kind/Euonymus-in-fall/
arctangent2019Octobernatureseasonsfallautumnfall foliagefall colorsburning busheuonymuseuonymus alatusForest Hill CemeteryMaple Grove CemeteryMidland CemeteryGerald R. Ford Presidential LibraryAnn ArborConcordMidland