Euonymus occidentalis is a species of spindle tree known by the common names western burning bush and western wahoo.This is a shrub or small tree reaching maximum heights of anywhere from two to six meters. The thin, green, oval-shaped leaves are three to fourteen centimeters long and sometimes rolled under along the edges. The inflorescence holds up to five small flowers at the end of a long peduncle.
Euonymus occidentalis is a species in the Celastraceae (Bittersweet) family known by the common name Burning Bush. It is native to western North America from British Columbia to California, where it is the only member of its genus growing wild. In California it is found in two disjunct locations corresponding to its two recognized Varieties: Var. occidentalis is found along the coast from Santa Cruz northward, and in the Cascades and Sierra foothills. Var. parishii is found far to the south in the Peninsular Range. Though not designated as rare, it is a somewhat uncommon plant growing as a shrub or small tree reaching maximum heights from two to six meters. The thin, green, oval-shaped leaves are up to one and a half centimeters long and sometimes rolled under along the edges. The flower cluster holds up to five small flowers at the end of a long peduncle. Each flower has five rounded, mottled petals of red, pink, brown or white color, around a central nectar disc with 5 nubs. The fruit is a rounded red-orange capsule with three bulging lobes. It opens to reveal one seed in each of the three lobes. The seed in concealed in a red aril. Although this plant likes moist locations, it also needs good drainage. Burning Bush is a good choice for cool, shaded woodland gardens or higher elevation, forested gardens.