The American strawberry bush – also known by many other names such as the “hearts-a-bustin“ and “hearts-bustin‘-with-love”, is a native member of the bittersweet family is one of those oddly beautiful plants you find sometimes in autumn while out in some of the more remote places in the Untied States. Found in all of the eastern states (excluding New England), most of the lower Midwest states, and as far west as Texas and Oklahoma, it literally looks like a strawberry growing on a shrub that is bursting with bright red seeds exposed within. As with many red-colored fruits in nature, this is best not to be eaten, as it has been reported to induce severe diarrhea in humans. The leaves, bark and stems are enjoyed by deer and other native wildlife who spread the seeds after consumption. These were found growing wild in Florida’s Ocala National Forest near Juniper Springs.
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American Strawberry Bush
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