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Selected images for oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus )

Oriental bittersweet is a deciduous, climbing, woody vine that can grow to lengths of 60 ft. (18.3 m). The alternate, elliptical leaves are light green in color and 2-5 in. (5-13 cm) long. Small, inconspicuous, axillary flowers develop in the spring. Fruits are round and green when young and ripen to yellow and split to reveal showy, scarlet berries that persist into winter. It closely resembles American bittersweet (Celastrus scandens), but can be distinguished because American bittersweet has flowers and fruits at the ends of branches, rather than in the axils of the leaves. Oriental bittersweet is commonly found through the southern Appalachians in old home sites, fields, and road edges. Some shade tolerance allows it to also grow in open forests. Prolific vine growth allows it to encircle trees and girdle them. Vines can completely cover other vegetation and shade, out-compete and kill even large trees. It can be dispersed widely and quickly due to birds eating the berries and spreading the seeds. Oriental bittersweet was introduced from China around 1860 as an ornamental. It has also been shown to hybridize with American bittersweet, potentially leading to a loss of genetic identity.


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0016241
0016241

oriental bittersweet
Celastrus orbiculatus
Foliage
James H. Miller
5269040
5269040

oriental bittersweet
Celastrus orbiculatus
Foliage
Chris Evans
5271001
5271001

oriental bittersweet
Celastrus orbiculatus
Flower(s)
Leslie J. Mehrhoff
0016390
0016390

oriental bittersweet
Celastrus orbiculatus
Fruit(s)
James H. Miller
2118068
2118068

oriental bittersweet
Celastrus orbiculatus
Foliage
Chris Evans
2105079
2105079

oriental bittersweet
Celastrus orbiculatus
Fruit(s)
James R. Allison
2105095
2105095

oriental bittersweet
Celastrus orbiculatus
Fruit(s)
James R. Allison
2105098
2105098

oriental bittersweet
Celastrus orbiculatus
Fruit(s)
James R. Allison
2308050
2308050

oriental bittersweet
Celastrus orbiculatus
Fruit(s)
Leslie J. Mehrhoff
0016100
0016100

oriental bittersweet
Celastrus orbiculatus
Feature(s)
James H. Miller
2307119
2307119

oriental bittersweet
Celastrus orbiculatus
Foliage
James H. Miller
2106018
2106018

oriental bittersweet
Celastrus orbiculatus
Foliage
James R. Allison
5269038
5269038

oriental bittersweet
Celastrus orbiculatus
Flower(s)
Chris Evans
2105070
2105070

oriental bittersweet
Celastrus orbiculatus
Plant(s)
James R. Allison
5331035
5331035

oriental bittersweet
Celastrus orbiculatus
Infestation
Nancy Loewenstein
5331036
5331036

oriental bittersweet
Celastrus orbiculatus
Infestation
Nancy Loewenstein
1509009
1509009

oriental bittersweet
Celastrus orbiculatus
Stem(s)
Max Williamson