I mentioned Hearts-a-Bustin’ in my 29 August post A Walk in the Woods. Today I took another walk in our woods and found that the Hearts-a-Bustin’ are indeed in various stages of blooming, opening up, and dropping seeds.
This native plant, also known as American Strawberry Bush (Euonymous americana), is a member of the Bittersweet family (Celastraceae) and is found throughout the eastern US. It is cold hardy to -15 degrees F (-26.1 C). The plants in our woods grow in almost full shade in what is the flood plain alongside a small creek. They have spread throughout the woods.
Hearts-a-Bustin’ has a reputation as a favorite of our neighborhood deer herd, although I am pleased to say I have yet to see evidence of deer chewing on those plants. That is not to say that deer have not made themselves totally unwelcome in other parts of the garden. It is reported that Hearts-a-Bustin’ can be propagated from seed; they have undoubtedly spread that way in our woods. If sown indoors, it again is reported by the experts that they need three months of cold treatment.
This is an up close look at the seeds and the various stages that the plants go through to produce them:
I am growing increasingly interested in the small details found in the plants around us. This is a learning process that I trust will continue as long as I can walk in the woods and stop to look closely at what is growing there.