Bursting Heart or Strawberry Bush

Bursting Heart Pod

During my walk this morning, I came across this very unusual seed pod growing near a creek. It’s the first one like it that I’ve seen. With a little searching, I learned that it’s called a Bursting Heart, or Hearts-a-Bustin plant, for obvious reasons. It’s also called a Strawberry Bush, because the pods resemble the red fruit before they open.

Closed pod

The flower opens in the spring and is a greenish white with five small petals. Deer like to forage on the leaves in the summer, and the pods are called “Deer Ice Cream” because they are so liked by deer and other plant eating animals. The seeds are scattered by the animals who eat them, not by the wind or surface burrs.

3 thoughts on “Bursting Heart or Strawberry Bush

  1. Hearts a Burstin or Deer ice cream, don’t you just love the names. I’m getting so smart, following your blogs, now if only this brain will keep all the info there. Thanks for researching that unusual plant, there are soooo many interesting things about your little section of paradise.

  2. Just came across one of these plants in Durham, NC. Thanks to your identification I now know what it is!! All good wishes.

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