General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Partial or Dappled Shade
Partial Shade to Full Shade
Full Shade
Water Preferences: Wet
Wet Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 4a -34.4 °C (-30 °F) to -31.7 °C (-25 °F)
Plant Height: 8 feet (2.5metres)
Plant Spread: 8 feet (2.5 metres)
Leaves: Deciduous
Other: stink when bruised / alternate / oval with pointed tip
Fruit: Showy
Edible to birds
Other: poisonous / bright red berry clusters
Fruiting Time: Summer
Late summer or early fall
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Purple
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Late summer or early fall
Underground structures: Rhizome
Uses: Groundcover
Medicinal Herb
Will Naturalize
Resistances: Pollution
Flood Resistant
Tolerates dry shade
Humidity tolerant
Toxicity: Leaves are poisonous
Roots are poisonous
Fruit is poisonous
Propagation: Other methods: Layering
Pollinators: Various insects
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil
Goes Dormant
Conservation status: Least Concern (LC)

Conservation status:
Conservation status: Least Concern
Common names
  • Bittersweet Nightshade
  • Climbing Nightshade
  • European Bittersweet
  • Felonwort
  • Amara Dulcis

  • Posted by jmorth (central Illinois) on Sep 15, 2016 10:41 PM concerning plant:
    A vining, toxic plant introduced from Eurasia as a cultivated ornamental. Used in some folk remedies and to counteract witchcraft.
    Any part of plant bruised, stinks. Clusters of bright red berries in the fall.
  • Posted by Bonehead (Planet Earth - Zone 8b) on May 23, 2013 2:10 PM concerning plant:
    This plant originated in Europe but is now well established as a garden escapee to the Pacific NW and is included in native plant field guides. It is moderately poisonous to humans and livestock. The common name describes the rind of the stem - when it is first tasted it is bitter, and afterwards sweet. I find it in my wetter areas.

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