Plant Detail

NOTE: This species is an invasive species

Celastrus orbiculatus

* Common Name:

Asiatic bittersweet, oriental bittersweet

* Genus:

Celastrus

* Species:

orbiculatus

Subspecies:

* Family (scientific):

Celastraceae

* Family (common):

Bittersweet

Synonyms :

Celastrus orbiculata

* Distribution in Canada:

Ontario
Quebec
New Brunswick

 

Photographer: Bill Moses.

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Notice: This species is often confused with others. Only purchase from a specialized, bio-regional native plant nursery. 

Habitat

Ecozone(s):

Atlantic Maritime
Mixedwood Plains

Natural Habitat(s):

Woodland (35-60% cover)
Forest Edge
Prairie/Meadow/Field
Riparian (edge)
Swamp/Marsh (nutrient rich)
Salt Water Shorelines
Fresh Water Aquatic (pond, lake, river)
Lakeshores

Erosion Control?

Characteristics
 
Growing Conditions

* Plant Type:

Vine

Moisture Requirements: Dry, Normal, Moist

Light Requirements: Sun, Partial Shade

Soil Requirements: Clay, Sand, Loam

Temperature Zone: 4

Evergreen?

No

Average Height:

8 to 15 m

Tolerances:

Flower Info
 
Fruit/Seed Info

Showy flowers?

No

Showy fruit/seeds?

Yes

Bloom time:

May to Jun

Edible for humans?

Flower Colour(s):

Green/Brown

Fruit/Seed Colour(s):

Red, Orange

Miscellaneous
 

Fragrant Flowers?

Fragrant Foliage?

Fall colours?

Distinctive bark?

Poisonous to humans?

Thorns or prickles?

Attracts wildlife?

Birds

Larval host for:

Plant Watch species?

No

Interesting Tidbits
 
References

Native Range: Eastern Asia, Korea, China, and Japan

Invasive Range: Southeastern Canada

Time of Invasion: 1860s

Invasion Pathway: Introduced for ornamental landscaping, seeds spread by birds

Status: Of high concern

Impacts: Displaces native flora in forests and open areas, outcompetes and hybridizes with native climbing bittersweet

Control Measures: Physical removal
(Invasive Species in Canada)

This deciduous woody plant is both a climbing vine and a trailing shrub. It grows about 60 cm per season. (1) It smothers trees which may die from excessive shading or breakage, particularly in high winds or snowstorms. (2) It is rapidly displacing the native Celastrus scandens (American bittersweet) through competition and hybridization. (Alien Plants)

It should be removed from fences, buildings, hedges and any disturbed areas where it may be attracted.

Celastrus scandens is now more rarely found in Ontario than the invader. (Invasive Species in Canada)

Both plants have elliptical light green glossy leaves, but the fruit and flowers on Celastrus scandens (native plant) are at the terminals rather than growing more plentifully along the stem as is the case in Celastrus orbiculatus.

Control: Small infestations can be hand pulled but the entire root must be removed. It both grows from the root and from the seeds which are spread by birds. If fruits are present, bag them and dispose of them in landfill.

For climbing vines, cut at a comfortable distance to stop growth in the tree. If herbicide is not used, constant cutting and vigilance will be required to ensure that the root has not sprouted.

Alien Plants suggest planting alternative native vegetation to encourage butterflies, hummingbirds and other wildlife and otherwise discourage the return of the invasive plant. Celastrus scandens, honeysuckles and creepers are suggested.

NatureServe

USDA PLANTS Database

Alien Plants

InvasiveInsectsDiseasesWeeds

Invasive Species in Canada



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