Oriental Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Oriental Bittersweet
Give a thumbs up Asiatic Bittersweet
Give a thumbs up Chinese Bittersweet

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Vine
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Partial or Dappled Shade
Partial Shade to Full Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 3 -40 °C (-40 °F) to -37.2 °C (-35)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 8b
Plant Height: 10 to 50 feet or more
Leaves: Deciduous
Fruit: Showy
Other: Green to yellow pods split open at maturity, revealing 1 to 2 seeds that are covered in fleshy, reddish-orange arils
Fruiting Time: Late spring or early summer
Flowers: Inconspicuous
Flower Color: Green
Other: Greenish-yellow
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Humidity tolerant
Drought tolerant
Salt tolerant
Toxicity: Other: All parts of the plant are poisonous.
Pollinators: Bees
Miscellaneous: Dioecious


Photo gallery:

Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Feb 3, 2018 9:32 PM

This horrible twining woody vine (liana) from East Asia is very invasive and rampant growing. It often kills small trees by girdling the trunks and makes itself into quite a mess wrapping around everything. Its leaves are rounded and it bears its flowers and fruit laterally, not terminally like the better American species. It can get over 40 feet long and can produce rather large vine trunks up to about a foot wide. Fortunately, the wood is very soft and it is easy to cut down. It infests open and pioneer woods being one of the ugly, messy invasive plants ruining the appearance of such forest with other invasive woody plants as Multiflora Rose, Amur Honeysuckle, wild Privets, Autumnolive, and Japanese Honeysuckle Vine. It should be exterminated from North America. (The American Bittersweet has narrower, more elongated leaves, bears flowers and fruit terminally, and usually grows less than 20 feet long.)

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
does clematis revert to a "wild" vine when transplanted? by cmaizel Jul 26, 2019 8:20 PM 14
Mislabeled invasive vine by crawgarden Jan 9, 2018 4:05 AM 0
Evergreen climbing vine by rfrenkel123 Dec 4, 2017 11:05 AM 4
Vine Growing - All Over Yard by wmangum25 May 16, 2017 3:22 PM 1
Can this be identified? by ryanperson Aug 5, 2016 11:58 AM 7

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