Euonymus americanus is a shrub 1-2 m tall, erect to sprawling, twigs slender, green, 4-lined, square in cross-section.
Leaves opposite, stalks 0.1-0.3 cm long, narrow, 3-4 cm long, fall color red.
Flowers greenish-purple, 5-parted, 1-1.2 cm wide, petals narrowed at base; May-June.
Fruit a warty, pinkish capsule, opening to reveal seeds covered by bright scarlet, fleshy arils, pulp lipid <10% (White and Stiles 1992), Aug.-Oct., bird dispersed.
Wetland status: FAC.
Frequency in New York City: Very infrequent; NYS rare, S1, threatened. Now planted in some restoration sites.
Habitat: Moist woods, soil pH 6-7.5. Very tolerant of shade. Moderately tolerant of flooding, soil compaction. Intolerant of salt, drought, Susceptible to Euonymus scale (Hightshoe 1988).