4. Euonymus atropurpureus Jacquin, Hort. Bot. Vindob. 2: 55, plate 120. 1772/1773.
Burning-bush, wahoo, spindle-tree Burning-bush, wahoo, spindle-tree
Euonymus atropurpureus var. cheatumii Lundell
Shrubs or trees to 8 m. Stems erect; young braches terete, not corky winged. Leaves deciduous; petiole 6–20 mm; blade elliptic, oval, ovate, or obovate, 5–16 × 1–3 cm, base broadly cuneate to rounded, margins serrate, apex acuminate. Inflorescences terminal or axillary, 7–20-flowered. Flowers: sepals 4; petals 4, dark purple, nearly triangular, obovate, or oblong, 1.5–2 × 1.2–1.5 mm; stamens 4; ovary smooth. Capsules pinkish purple, obovoid, 11–13 × 15–17 mm, deeply 4-lobed, lobes clearly connate, surface smooth. Seeds ellipsoid, 5–7 × 4–5 mm; aril red. 2n = 32.
Flowering spring–summer; fruiting late summer–fall. Rich moist woods and thickets, hillsides; 0–400 m; Ont.; Ala., Ark., Conn., Del., D.C., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., La., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., Nebr., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., N.Dak., Ohio, Okla., Pa., R.I., S.C., S.Dak., Tenn., Tex., Va., W.Va., Wis.
Euonymus atropurpureus is widely cultivated and has become naturalized in New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island). The root bark is used medicinally.