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Kentucky Color: Eastern Wahoo Orange on Mayne Lane

Oddly, leaves are still holding on in January, to Columbia, KY, plant, which is supposed to be deciduous. Writer warns that seeds are poisonous and not to be confused with those of "Strawberry Bush"
The next earlier Kentucky Color: Billy Joe Fudge, Kentucky Color: The Great Hollyberry Heist January 14, 2010. Click on headline for full story plus photo(s)

By Billy Joe Fudge, President, Homeplace on Green River, Inc.
6048 New Columbia RD, Campbellsville, KY

No, this isn't "Hearts a bursting" sometimes called "Strawberry Bush" or "Burning Bush". Strawberry Bush has bumpy, rough seed pods which open in September and October and I have never seen them hang on this long. The seeds are very red.

Eastern Wahoo has smooth seed pods and orange to pale red seeds and they will hold on well into winter according USDA literature.

I am sure this is a Wahoo. However, I am very confused by what I have found. Wahoos are supposed to be deciduous which of course means that they shed their leaves during the fall and early winter. These leaves are still green a few days after the third longest stretch of below freezing temperatures in recorded history for our area.

One thing we need to be aware of is that Strawberry Bush is widely used for medicinal purposes such as: seed as a strong laxative, roots as a tea used for vomiting, painful urination and stomach aches, and bark as a diuretic, etc.

However we must be aware that much of Eastern Wahoo including the seed and seed pods are said to be poisonous. I am pretty brave at tasting plants and seeds but we should be cautious when tasting things with which we are not familiar.

This story was posted on 2010-01-24 06:45:31
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Kentucky Color: Eastern Wahoo seed pods open

2010-01-24 - Mayne Layne, Columbia, KY - Photo by Billy Joe Fudge. Wahoo: View of seed, seed pods, buds, and back side of leaf Billy Joe Fudge found this plant on Mayne Layne (off Greensburg ST, Columbia, KY, in the 700 block). The plant looks a lot like burning bush, or "Strawberry Bush," but it is not. And, unlike the seeds of that shrub, the seeds of the Wahoo are considered poisonous.
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Eastern Wahoo orange on Mayne Lane, Columbia, KY

2010-01-24 - Mayne Layne, Columbia, KY - Photo by Billy Joe Fudge. "This is a view of seed, seed pods, leaves and green stems of Eastern Wahoo," writes Billy Joe Fudge of this plant found on Mayne Lane in Columbia, KY. He adds, "The green stems are normal but I can find nothing about them retaining green leaves during the winter."
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