American Bittersweet
Celastrus scandens

American Bittersweet- Click for Full Image

WARNING(S)
All parts are toxic. See Notes.

Family
Celastraceae

Description
A climbing vine or shrub that can reach lengths of 15.2 meters (50ft) with oblong leaves that are finely toothed. Flowers are clustered and green, present in May and June. Fruits are yellow-orange and may split when mature to reveal bright red seeds.

Location
Found in thickets. Ranges throughout Northern United States.

Uses and Parts Used

Root
Tea made from root bark has emetic and diuretic properties and is a folk remedy for liver ailments, skin problems, leukorrhea, and rheumatism. Also used to treat childbirth pain.

Bark
Bark used in ointment to externally treat burns and minor skin problems.

Leaves
Leaf tea is astringent and used for diarrhea and dysentery.

Notes
Fruits are toxic. All parts may be toxic. Do not ingest.

American Bittersweet- Click for Full Image
American Bittersweet- Click for Full Image
American Bittersweet