oriental bittersweet USDA PLANTS Symbol: CEOR7
U.S. Nativity: Exotic
Habit: Vines
Celastrus orbiculatus Thunb.

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Taxonomic Rank: Magnoliopsida: Celastrales: Celastraceae
Synonym(s): Asiatic bittersweet
Native Range: China, Japan (REHD, BAIL);

Appearance
Celastrus orbiculatus is a perennial deciduous, climbing, woody vine that can grow to lengths of 60 ft. (18.3 m) and up to 4 in. (10 cm) in diameter. The striated bark is brown to dark brown. The smooth glabrous twigs can range from light gray to dark brown in color.
Foliage
The alternate, elliptical to circular leaves are light green in color and 2-5 in. (5-13 cm) long.
Flowers
Small, inconspicuous, axillary, greenish-white flowers bloom from May to early June. Oriental bittersweet closely resembles American bittersweet (Celastrus scandens). The main difference: Celastrus scandens has flowers and fruits at the ends of branches; Celastrus orbiculatus has flowers in the axils of the leaves.
Fruit
The small globose fruits are green when young; ripen to yellow; then split to reveal showy, scarlet berries that persist into winter.
Ecological Threat
Celastrus orbiculatus is commonly found in old home sites, fields, and road edges. The fast growing vines can cover, shade and outcompete other vegetation. It can even girdle and kill large trees. Birds and other wildlife eat the fruit, thus distributing the seeds. It hybridizes with Celastrus scandens, potentially leading to loss of genetic identity for the native species. It was introduced from China around 1860 as an ornamental.

Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources

Selected Images from Invasive.orgView All Images at Invasive.org


Foliage; Juvenile vine.  twining vine in October
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Foliage;
Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s); Close-up of staminate flowers
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s); mature fruit in July
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Foliage;
Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s);
James R. Allison, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s);
James R. Allison, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s);
James R. Allison, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s);
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
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Feature(s); vine closeup in October
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Foliage; October
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Foliage;
James R. Allison, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
James R. Allison, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Nancy Loewenstein, Auburn University, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Nancy Loewenstein, Auburn University, Bugwood.org
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Stem(s); Oriental bittersweet; vine wall; Asheville area
Max Williamson, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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EDDMapS Distribution:
This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts and records obtained from USDA Plants Database. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org
 


State(s) Where Reported invasive.
Based on state level agency and organization lists of invasive plants from WeedUS database.

U.S. National Parks where reported invasive:
Acadia National Park (Maine)
Blue Ridge Parkway (North Carolina)
Catoctin Mountain Park (Maryland)
Colonial National Historical Park (Virginia)
George Washington Memorial Parkway (Virginia)
Great Smoky Mountains National Park (North Carolina & Tennessee)
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park (West Virginia)
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore (Indiana)
Monocacy National Battlefield Park (Maryland)
National Capital Parks East (Washington, D.C.)
Petersburg National Battlefield (Virginia)
Richmond National Battlefield Park (Virginia)
Rock Creek National Park (Washington, D.C.)
Shenandoah National Park (Virginia)
Weir Farm National Historical Park (Connecticut)
Wolf Trap National Park (Virginia)



Invasive Listing Sources:
Alabama Invasive Plant Council
City of Ann Arbor Michigan Parks and Recreation
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, 1994.
Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group
Delaware Natural Resources and Environmental Control, 2004
Faith Campbell, 1998
Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council
Hoffman, R. & K. Kearns, Eds. 1997. Wisconsin manual of control recommendations for ecologically invasive plants. Wisconsin Dept. Natural Resources, Bureau of Endangered Resources. Madison, Wisconsin. 102pp.
Indiana Native Plant and Wildflower Society
Invasive Plant Council of New York State
Jil M. Swearingen, Survey of invasive plants occurring on National Park Service lands, 2000-2007
John Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Survey of TNC Preserves, 1995.
Kentucky Exotic Pest Plant Council
Maryland Cooperative Extension Service.  2003. Invasive Plant Control in Maryland. Home and Garden Information Center, Home and Garden Mimeo HG88. 4 pp.
Maryland Department of Natural Resources, 1994
Mid-Atlantic Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2005
Missouri Department of Conservation,
New Hampshire Invasive Species Committee. 2005. Guide to Invasive Upland Plant Species in New Hampshire. New Hampshire Department of Agriculture,  Markets and Food Plant Industry Division and New Hampshire Invasive Species Committee.
New Jersey Department of Agriculture, Division of Plant Industry, 2004
Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust, Pennsylvania.
Rhode Island Natural History Society,
South Carolina Exotic Pest Plant Council
Tatyana Livschultz, Pennsylvania survey of invasive plants,
Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council
Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation
Virginia Invasive Plant Species List