Transformational Gardening

Disclaimer: Foraging can be fun, rewarding and provide health benefits. As a novice forager, I will be sharing my foraging experiences. However, in order to be safe, always consult with local foraging experts and guidebooks before beginning foraging. Children should learn to forage safely by being guided by experienced adults. Never ingest anything unless you are certain of the identification and safety of the plant. Some plant species are inedible and some are poisonous.

Oriental Bittersweet (Asiatic Bittersweet) (Celastrus orbiculatus): Images

September 17, 2010Southeastern, New HampshireOriental Bittersweet is a very aggressive, non-native invasive vine. It often coversother trees. Even when there are no other trees to cover, the long vines can climb around each other and grow to significant heights (over 10 feet).

The leaves are opposite and somewhat roundish. The leaf margins are toothed and the leaftip is pointed to rounded. The berries (fruit) grow in clusters of 3-7 in the axilof the leaf. Female flowers (not shown) also grow next to each leaf axil. The fruit has a yellow covering (see picture). This covering splits open in the Fall to reveal the red berry.

A similar species, American Bittersweet (Celastrus scandens) has female flowersand fruit in terminal panicles (clusters) at the end of the stem (not in each leaf axil).The fruit covering tends to be more orange for American Bittersweet. Finally, the leafshape for American Bittersweet tends to be less round, but that is not a reliable wayto differentiate the species.

The berries are bitter-tasting and not edible for humans.
May 12, 2012Southeastern, New Hampshire
Date Location Notes Images
June 5, 2014 Southern, Connecticut