Celastris orbiculata

Oriental Bittersweet

  • Site: has both shade and sun tolerance, has tolerance to varying soil moisture conditions
  • Plant community: this plant was found all over the park, on the edges of the trails and the woods, found growing alongside other invasives; I observed it twining around Maple trees; grows on woodland and forest edges; in thickets, woodlands, and forests; and on coastal wetlands, beaches, and salt marsh edges. Oriental bittersweet is common on disturbed sites such as roadsides, logged forests, and old fields.
  • Invasive traits: shows rapid growth under partial to full sun and is the first to leaf out in the spring; it is a vigorously growing vine that climbs over and smothers vegetation which may die from excessive shading or breakage. When bittersweet climbs high up on trees the increased weight can lead to uprooting and blow-over during high winds and heavy snowfalls. Oriental bittersweet reproduces prolifically by seed, which is readily dispersed to new areas by many species of birds including mockingbirds, blue jays and European starlings. The seeds germinate in late spring. It also expands vegetatively through root suckering.
  • Other: used for erosion control