American bittersweet Celastraceae Celastrus
|Leaf: Alternate, simple, elliptical to ovate, pointed tip, 2 to 5 inches long, finely serrated, somewhat rounded teeth.
Flower: Inconspicuous, pale yellowish-green, in terminal clusters, appearing in late spring.
Fruit: Very attractive, capsules in clusters which when opened expose a bright orange seed surrounded by orange scales, 1/3 inch across; ripen in the fall and are visible throughout the winter.
Twig: Twiny, light brown, with small pointy buds at nearly right angles to the stems. No tendrils or aerial roots present.
Bark: Brown, initially smooth, later corky with diamond-shaped patterns, much later becomes finely scaly.
Form: Climbing vine, with an open, spiraling pattern. Forms dense thickets along fences. Some stems may become several inches in diameter.
Looks like: Oriental bittersweet
- Japanese honeysuckle
- Dutchman's pipe
| Additional Range Information:
Celastrus scandens is native to North America.
Range may be expanded by planting.
See states reporting American bittersweet.
| External Links:
USDA Plants Database
|© Copyright 2016, Virginia Tech|
Dept. of Forest Resources
and Environmental Conservation,
all rights reserved.
Photos and text by: John Seiler,
Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera,
and John Peterson