Need help identifying tree or bush found in woods

inchworminjersey(7)November 11, 2005

I walk frequently in a small woodland behind my home. This year I have noticed a small tree or bush that I have never seen before. It is short, the foliage seems sparse...the strange aspect of it is the berries it bears. They dangle from a strange magenta colored pod that opens into a starfish shape, the berries are an orangish red and hang from the edges of the starfish shaped pod. Anyone able to help me identify this? If this is the wrong forum to ask this question...please point me in the right direction. Thanks!!!

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vbain

Sounds like "Japanese bittersweet", an invasive plant.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2005 at 10:34AM
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inchworminjersey(7)

Thanks VBain, I looked up the Japanese Bittersweet and the description did not match the small tree I am trying to identify. The bittersweet berries seem to be in the middle of the pod. On the pod I saw the berries hung from the tips of the five pod edges. I have never seen another berry bearing tree or bush with berries that hang like this...If you know of a site that has a picture of the Japanese Bittersweet please send it along to me. Thanks

    Bookmark   November 11, 2005 at 3:35PM
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garden4wildlife(z8 GA)

I'm pretty sure you've found Euonymus americana (or E. americanus, depending on which source you ask), aka "strawberry bush," which is an east coast forest native. The link is to a picture of the seed pods of Euonymus americana on the Grow Native website.

Here is a link that might be useful: Euonymus americanus

    Bookmark   November 11, 2005 at 6:03PM
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Judy_B_ON(Ontario 5B)

Could be strawberry bush or one of the trees in the same genus. See the link below for more choices.

Here is a link that might be useful: Euonymus Trees and Bushes

    Bookmark   November 12, 2005 at 12:26PM
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knottyceltic(S/W Ontario 5b)

I agree with Judy B. It's likely one of the euonymous species, either a naturalized Japanese one such as winged Euonymous (Burning Bush), a native Euonymous (Euonymous Atropurpurea) or the Running Strawberry Bush that is mentioned already.

Oriental Bittersweet is a nasty alien invasive but it's a low lying vine that travels underground as well as aboveground. The seed pods/berries are similar but not quite the same.

Barb
southern Ontario, CANADA zone 6a

    Bookmark   November 12, 2005 at 3:23PM
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inchworminjersey(7)

Thank you to everyone who answered my inquiry...Garden4wildlife, I looked up the site you mentioned and the plant is an Euonymus americanus. I was walking again today and found even more, they are growing in a long line about 100 yards long and that is the only spot I have seen them. The pods are quite pretty and are only now beginning to brown a bit. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2005 at 2:48PM
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tennguy(6a)

The pods of Euonymus ARE pretty, but they're pretty much on the poisonous side too. Wash your hands well if you touch them. It is a real cathartic, the bark of the roots being sold as a laxative. It's also called "Wahoo". Watch children and pets, especially if you bring the twigs with berries inside.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2006 at 10:06AM
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brenda_near_eno(Z7a)

Usually you will have a little stand of these slender trees in a spot. Watch out, becasue deer will eat them to the ground.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2006 at 3:14PM
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knottyceltic(S/W Ontario 5b)

Rabbits eat Euonymous to the ground as well. I have the Japanese species and the poor things have to start from the ground up every spring. I don't know how much more they can take. :o/ I'm trying to find the native species to replace all the Japanese ones anyway so I don't bother protecting them from the rabbits but I'm having a heck of a time even getting seeds for Euonymous Atropurpurea let alone actual plants. I'm in Canada and the resources aren't as great as in the USA. Bummer.

Barb in southern Ontario, CANADA

    Bookmark   February 1, 2006 at 9:19PM
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gillie662000_aol_com

My husband and I found a small creek behind our home in the woods and wanted to identify trees growing along the creek. The trunk is winding and has flat leaves with smooth edge that come to a point. The leaves grow 4 to 5 leaves at the ends of each branch. the bark has horizontal lines in it and is almost smooth. If you pull away at the bark it has a redish tint to it. We live in Georgia between atlanta and Chatanooga. Please help us to identify this small tree.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2007 at 8:05PM
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esh_ga

Ren, can you get a picture of it? And if you do, start a new message. There is a great Name that Plant forum here on Garden Web. I'm sure you can get it identified. Are the leaves on it now? Are they new leaves or does it look like these leaves stayed on it all winter?

    Bookmark   March 17, 2007 at 9:11PM
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fancytrails

The leaves look new but we are not sure. We took pictures of it. you can see the pictures of it on our website.
fancytrailsfarm.com/temp

Here is a link that might be useful: pictures of tree found near creek

    Bookmark   March 17, 2007 at 10:28PM
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esh_ga

That sure looks like Mountain Laurel, Kalmia latifolia. It is a shrub/small tree that has beautiful blossoms in the spring. Those leaves are evergreen. It is a native tree and loves to grow along creeks.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2007 at 9:12AM
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terryt9(z6 central Tn.)

We call them "hearts-a-busting"

    Bookmark   April 14, 2007 at 5:25PM
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knottyceltic(S/W Ontario 5b)

Euonymus obovata is a native to the eastern USA and Canada. The seed pods are magenta and the seeds orange-ish red and often dangle from the tips of the star shaped seed pod. Here are photos:

http://www.duke.edu/~cwcook/trees/euam.html

Barb

    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 12:48PM
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mitsys_heart

A friend of mine has what appears to be a bush or shrub. It is growing upright from a single stem. The bush produces purple berries and the berry are attach to a bright pink >> fushia vine (like the vine when you buy grapes in the store). But, not in full clusters. Then the green foliage moves downward to the ground. I'm sorry I really should have examined it more to see if it was woody. He said it is called (sir-mack) how he pronounce it. In which I know I have the wrong spelling. Also, he said the berries are poisoness to humans but, the robins, finches and blue-jay eat them. the bush stands about 4-5ft.
Can anyone please tell me the correct spelling or have a correct name?? Thanks for any help..

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 7:07PM
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kwoods(Cold z7 Long Is)

Poke?

???????

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 10:45AM
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amelanchier(NY)

Well, what he probably said was "sumac." Sumacs do have berries, but the ones I'm familiar with produce the berries in upright clusters.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 11:26PM
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esofva(7b VA)

I also this sumac...there are different species where the berries grow in different places on the shrub.
deb

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 8:35AM
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