Celastrus orbiculata

Oriental Bittersweet

Origin Of Species
Physical Description
Oriental bittersweet is a woody vine that can reach up to sixty feet in height and four inches in diameter.  Its alternating elliptical leaves range from one to five inches in length.  Its flowers are small and greenish-yellow, growing in clusters of three to seven along the leaf axils around May.  Between August and January, small green fruits appear which turn yellow at maturity.  When ripe, the fruit capsule splits open and reveals three bright red arils, which contain the seeds.
Habitat And Distribution
Oriental bittersweet is often found at forest edges, fence rows, roadsides, and abandoned fields.  It is found throughout the United States with the exception of states along the western edge and Florida.
Location On Campus
Oriental bittersweet is located near the woods along Boatwright Drive.
Negative Impacts
Oriental bittersweet can grow in a myriad of habitats and climbs by twining around and growing over various surfaces, including other plants.  Oriental bittersweet may shade out and literally strangle nearby plants and monopolize essential resources.  Its quick reproductive rate and efficient dispersal mechanisms allow it to spread easily.
VDCR Invasiveness Ranking
Highly Invasive Species

Additional Images: Splitting Fruit Capsule   Fruits with leaves on vine 

Back to common names...   Back to scientific names...   Back to vines...