One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Any of a number of shrubs noted for their bright red autumn foliage, in particular the kochia or the smoke tree.
- ‘Barberry, knotweed, ailanthus, and the brilliant Euonymus known as burning bush are just some of the horticultural immigrants that continue to out-compete many of our indigenous species.’
- ‘But the burning bush sells doubly well in Scotland.’
2Any of a number of shrubs or trees with bright red leaves or fruits.
Several plants, in particular North American spindles of the genus Euonymus (family Celastraceae), e.g. the wahoo (E. atropurpurea)
3another term for gas plant
- ‘It is known variously as Burning-bush, False Dittany, White Dittany, and Gas-plant.’
- ‘Gas plant, also known as burning bush, is a perennial flower.’
- ‘The flowers (white or pink) and the leaves give off a strong aromatic vapour which can be ignited, hence the names gas plant and burning bush.’
Mid 19th century: with biblical allusion to Exod. 3:2.
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