University of Maryland Extension

Oriental bittersweet

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Oriental bittersweet
Celastrus orbiculatus

oriental bittersweet

Life cycle: woody, perennial vine
Growth habit: climbing, deciduous vine; leaves rounded to obovate, alternate, simple with bluntly toothed margins
Reproduction: seed; flowers are inconspicuous followed by green to yellow fruits that burst open to display orange-red seeds persisting into fall after leaf drop. Often used to make wreaths and for fall decorations. This is not recommended because seeds can be inadvertently dispersed to other areas

Conditions that favor growth: forms tangles and thickets when left alone; can strangle other plants by girdling stems

Oriental bittersweet growing up trees
Oriental bittersweet strangles trees
Photo: Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org

Oriental bittersweet in winter
Winter photo of Oriental bittersweet
Photo: Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org 

Cultural control: manual removal as soon as possible, especially before fruit production

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