Celastrus orbiculatus no.3

December 1, 2010

Oriental bittersweetCelastrus orbiculatus

(Oriental bittersweet)

My nemesis.  Oriental bittersweet is native to eastern Asia, where I wish it had stayed instead of having been introduced to misguided American gardeners  in the early 1800s.  It escaped cultivation (without much trouble, I suspect) and has since exploded into a full-blown, tree-choking nuisance.  To cut the vine back or yank its bright orange roots from the ground seems only to encourage it for it climbs back with a vengeance.  And of course birds love the fruit, which contributes greatly to seed dispersal; hundreds of young’uns germinate every spring beneath my crabapple tree [see earlier post] where the robins, sparrows, chickadees, etc. often perch. I feed heaps of it’s tenacious vines to my spring-clearing fires every year.  To look on the brighter side…at least it has such pretty berries; papery mustard-yellow capsules open to reveal bright red fruit.


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