Monday, October 20, 2014

An old acquaintance


Euonymus americanus

Last month I met a leafy acquaintance from my past at our Elkmont campsite in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

There was little fall color on display during our September visit. The spindly little bush pictured above offered a colorful exception.

I first met Euonymus americanus with its bright red seeds and seedpods in my late mother’s yard. It is commonly called strawberry plant or Hearts-a-Bustin’.

Hearts-a-bustin’ seed pod

Mother had transplanted it from Pascagoula River swamp to a black plastic, gallon-sized nursery pot. We didn’t know its identity at the time.

A cousin with a green thumb and an active sense of humor adopted the unusual mystery shrub. She identified it as a "Sidaroada," as in found on the “side of the road.”

Since then Google has informed me that, although deer may snack on the leaves and stems, humans should take the seedpods’ vibrant color as a red flag of warning. Pods and seeds are a potent laxative and cause severe diarrhea.



14 comments:

Sandra said...

i love the name sidearoada.. to funny and i have seen these growing in the woods here and have a few photos in my archives. did not know about the laxative though..

Arkansas Patti said...

I plan to borrow "sidearoada". My Euonymus have no seedpods or seeds. I guess deer are smart enough to leave the seeds alone.

Retired English Teacher said...

These are so cool. I guess I've never seen them before. Interesting.

Barb said...

Well, I'll be leaving that one alone!

Ginny said...

Oh MY, what a plant!!! I have never seen such a thing. The prickles on the outside remind me a bit of the fruits that I just posted. But this is REALLY spectacular!!! The way these big seeds just pop out and hang on underneath. Something that I have never seen before, and amazing!

photowannabe said...

Quite amazing.
The "sideroadia" is beautiful and something I have never seen before.
Thanks for sharing.

schmidleysscribblins.com said...

The last paragraph gives sidaroada a whole new meaning.

gigihawaii said...

Pretty plant.

Gail Dixon said...

Oh my! That's good to know. Love the moniker given by your cousin. So funny!

troutbirder said...

Regardless of its "effects" it a strangely beautiful plants...:)

Mage said...

Ewwwwww.........and thanks.

Freda said...

What a vibrant mix of colours - haven't seen anything like it in UK

Mage said...

Lovely anyway. :)

edshunnybunny said...

I'm not familiar with this plant, but it's quite interesting and unusual--especially its nickname 'sidearoada'! Ha Ha