FIELD GUIDE TO SHRUBS

Oriental Bittersweet
Celastrus orbiculatus

Family: Celastraceae

Preferred Habitat: inhabits forest edges, woodlands, early successional fields, hedgerows, coastal areas, and salt marsh edges

Range: Native to Eastern Asia, Korea, China, and Japan, and is found in the United States from Maine to South Carolina and Oklahoma to North Dakota and parts of Canada

Height: up to 6 meters (20 feet)

Leaves: simple, alternate, glossy, rounded, finely toothed, 10 cm in length

Flowers: flowers at stem, 5-petaled and star-shaped, 1-2 cm in diameter, white and sometimes yellow colored

Fruit: at maturity, globular green to yellow fruits split open to reveal three red-orange fleshy arils that contain seeds, fruit occurring in clusters of 5-10

Location spotted: Beaver Creek Park; Belmont, Massachusetts

Extra information: This species is a deciduous, woody, perennial vine that can “act as a shrub”, the stems of this species can intertwine around one another giving a braided look as seen in the photographs