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Celastrus orbiculatus

Common Name(s):
Asian bittersweet, Chinese bittersweet, Oriental bittersweet
Cultivar(s):
Diana
Category:
Vines
Comment:

Flowers: inconspicuous, orange-yellow, blooms in May

Fruit:  Clusters of small capsules with 3 scarlet, fleshy, sections each with 2 white seeds, mature between August and January.

Leaves:  Deciduous, alternate, olive green in spring and summer; Light yellow fall foliage. round or tapered tips.

Stems:  Woody vine, rapid grower; climbs by twining,  can reach up to 60 ft in length and 4 inches in diameter.

Plants are either male or female

Native to Eastern Asia; listed as an invasive species by the NC State Weed SpecialistNorth Carolina Forest Service, USDA National Invasive Species Information Center; the Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States, The National Park Service

Found primarily along forest edges, roadsides, and meadows in full sun. Spreads by prolific vine growth and seeds that are spread by birds, mammals, and people.  It was introduced from Southeast Asia around 1860 as an ornamental vine.

Plant Control:Bittersweet can be difficult to control.  Cutting or pulling alone does not work because cutting stimulates the vine to re-sprout ten-fold and any broken off piece of root will re-grow. In the home landscape it is probably best to cut the vines back to the ground and immediately treat the cut stem with herbicide.  Follow the directions on the label.

 Alternatives that are less weedy:

Height:
30-60 ft.
Flower:
Yellow capsules with scarlet seeds
Zones:
4-8
Habit:
Deciduous
Texture:
Medium
Exposure:
Sun to partial shade
Fruit:
Yellow capsules with scarlet seeds
Growth Rate:
Rapid
Climbing Method:
Twining
Tags:
invasive, deciduous

NCCES plant id: 455

Celastrus orbiculatus Leaf
Leonora Enking, CC-BY-SA-2.0
Celastrus orbiculatus Celastrus orbiculatus
Lindsey, CC BY-NC-ND - 2.0
Celastrus orbiculatus Flower
Anita Gould, CC BY-NC-2.0
Celastrus orbiculatus Fruits
Esteve Conaway, CC BY - 2.0