Oriental Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus)

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Oriental Bittersweet
Woody vine, up to 60’. in height. Introduced as an ornamental; used in wreath-making and in floral displays for its showy, orange “berries”.
Identification:

  • Stems have brown striated bark.
  • Profusion of orange, berry-like fruit produced in fall.
  • Leaves vary in shape from elliptical to nearly round.
  • Flowers are small and insignificant (greenish in color).
  • Often seen wrapped around tree trunks.
  • Similar to our rare, native bittersweet which has fruit only at ends of branches!
The Problem:
Kills trees and shrubs by girdling and blocking out sunlight; sometimes trees collapse due to sheer weight of vines.