Page author: David Giblin
Euonymus occidentalis
burning bush, western wahoo

Distribution: Occurring west of the Cascades crest in southwestern Washington; British Columbia to California.

Habitat: Moist woods at low to middle elevations.

Flowers: May-June

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Sensitive in Washington (WANHP)


Straggling shrubs 2-5 m. tall, the branches glabrous and marked with fine, parallel lines.


Leaves opposite, deciduous, thin, oblong-lanceolate, serrate, acuminate, 5-10 cm. long.


Flowers in axillary, 3-flowered cymes on long, slender peduncles; sepals 5, united at the base, rounded; petals 5, about 5 mm. long, greenish- and purplish-mottled to purplish-red; stamens 5, attached to the edge of a flattened disk, the ovary sunken in the disk; anthers much longer than the filaments; style 1, very short.


Capsule 3-lobed, the seeds covered with a reddish-orange growth.

Accepted Name:
Euonymus occidentalis Nutt. ex Torr.
Publication: Pacif. Railr. Rep. 4(5): 74. 1857.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Euonymus occidentalis in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Euonymus occidentalis checklist entry

OregonFlora: Euonymus occidentalis information

E-Flora BC: Euonymus occidentalis atlas page

CalPhotos: Euonymus occidentalis photos

48 photographs:
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