Aug. 23, 2020

wahoo, Euonymus atropurpurea

Wahoo was the native American name for this small tree. It's also been called American spindletree or hearts-bursting-with-love. That last is because of the fruit. Think bitterwseet, but red and pink rather than orange and red. The species is toxic, so of course it was used medicinally by Indians and pioneers. A decoction of bark served as a purgative. Wahoo grows in woods and their borders in AL, AR, CT, DE, FL(E), GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI(S), MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, WI, WV, ON, and QC. Ives Fen Preserve, Lenawee Co MI, 6/2/12. Bittersweet family, Celastraceae.