Hearts-a-Bustin’ (Euonymus americanus) is actually a small shrub. In mid-to-late May these Smoky Mountains wildflowers show a charming but inconspicuous little bloom that shows little hint of the color that will come later. In September, when summer’s green is beginning to fade, the hearts bust open to reveal a stunning red berry. It’s an early autumn harbinger of the colors that will soon dominate the October landscape.
You can find these wildflowers along the Sugarlands Nature Trail or the Laurel Falls Trail, as well as many other creekside trails. Other common names for the plant include Strawberry Bush, Swamp Dogwood, and Spindle Bush.
If you are traveling in the Smokies on vacation, please stop in and visit me to see the complete display of Smoky Mountains Photos at the William Britten Gallery in Gatlinburg, TN. There may be a special Smokies photo memory for you to take home.
And if you are a wildflowers enthusiast, please join our Smoky Mountains Wildflowers Community on Facebook. We exchange photo identifications, bloom locations, and info on these delicate and beautiful plants.