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Audubon® Eastern Wahoo
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Everybody knows about Burning Bush, a species of Euonymus that’s planted around just about every parking lot in the country. This Asian Accent is beautiful in fall with its flaming red foliage, but is not native and has become invasive in some states. Few people realize they could plant one of our own native (non-invasive) Euonymus species instead! Eastern Wahoo is one, a shrub or small tree with red fall color and—even more interestingly—hot pink fruits that split open to reveal glossy scarlet seeds. The seeds may attract flickers, Brown Thrashers, cardinals, robins, bluebirds, Cedar Waxwings, and catbirds.
May Benefit & Attract: Flickers, thrashers cardinals, thrushes, and waxwings.
Take Birds Under Your Wing
New! Introducing our bird-friendly collection of Audubon® Native Plants & Trees
- Better for Birds, 100% Neonic-Free
- Not Available in non-native regions, states or counties (see Native Regions map)
Bower & Branch is proud to grow Audubon® Native Plants for Birds in partnership with the National Audubon Society to help birds and other wildlife thrive.
- The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow
- This bird-friendly native plant provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
- Your purchase and planting of this native flora directly supports Audubon’s conservation mission and impact
- Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program
- Audubon Native Plants & Trees are free of neonicotinoids and exclusively grown by Bower & Branch
Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.
Size AA (2-3' tall) container grown
- Hardiness Zone: 3-7
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Eastern Wahoo is most common in the lower Midwest. It is found throughout Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky, and in scattered places in neighboring states. This moisture-lover follows the Mississippi and Ohio River Valleys and the rich, moist soil that it prefers, though it appears in drier places, too. In the wild, this nifty native feeds birds with its seeds and also with the caterpillars it hosts. Its foliage feeds several species of moths, including the magnificent cecropia moth. With a wingspan of up to seven inches, this brown, orange, and cream-colored beauty is North America’s largest native moth.
The tiny flowers of Burning Bush are greenish-yellow and not too remarkable, but those of its American cousin are different. Eastern Wahoo’s late spring/early summer blooms are dark burgundy-purple, and they make a pretty counterpoint to the new green leaves. Plant Wahoo near a seating area, where you’ll be able to study the quirky flowers (and fruits) at close range.
How to Grow
Most often found along rivers and streams, in low woods, and in moist meadows, Eastern Wahoo appreciates soil that retains some moisture. It doesn’t like to grow in a swamp, however, and does require decent drainage. Fruiting will be most profuse and growth will be densest in full sun, though part shade will produce good results as well. In shady sites, Eastern Wahoo may send up suckers all around and become a thicket, which makes for nice bird habitat. In sunny sites, it may grow as a small, single-trunked tree, which you can encourage by removing any suckers when they do appear.
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