Celastrus orbiculatus

Family:CELASTRACEAE
Species:Celastrus orbiculatus Thunberg
Common Name:Asian Bittersweet; Oriental Bittersweet
Habitat:**
Associated Ecological Communities:**
Growth Habit:**
Duration:**
Category:**
USDA Symbol:**
Plant Notes:Oriental Bittersweet is an introduced deciduous woody vine in the Bittersweet family (Celastraceae). It is native to eastern Asia. It Alabama, it has been documented from the central portion of the state. Oriental Bittersweet grows in disturbed woodlands, around old home sites, on fence rows, in vacant lots, and along woodland edges. It is a woody vine up to 100 feet in length with smooth dark gray bark. Older bark is shallowly furrowed or pitted. The vines climb by twining. Leaves are alternate, petiolate, obovate to orbicular in outline, with toothed margins. The leaves turn yellowish before falling in the autumn. Flowers are produced in axillary cymes. The flowers are small, green in color, with 5 sepals and 5 petals. Flowers may be staminate (male), pistillate (female), or bisexual. The fruit is a capsule. The capsule becomes yellowish in color before splitting in 3 sections to expose the seed. The seed are completely enclosed in a red aril. All parts of the plant are toxic if eaten. Oriental Bittersweet was introduced into the United States in 1860’s as an ornamental landscape plant primarily for its attractive fruit which persist on the plant throughout the winter months. It is sometimes used in flower arrangements. Oriental Bittersweet is an aggressive invader and out competes native vegetation. It forms a mutualistic relationship with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, aiding in the uptake of nutrients and speeding the plants growth. It is listed as a Category 2 Invasive Species by the Alabama Invasive Species Council. Oriental Bittersweet is similar to our native American Bittersweet (Celastrus scandens Linnaeus). American Bittersweet has flowers and fruit in terminal panicles, fruit that turn orange, and leaves that are oblong in outline. The two species form fertile hybrids.--A. Diamond
Taxonomic Notes:**
Status:Not Native
References:**
Specimen: View specimen details in the Alabama Herbarium Consortium Specimen Database

** Not applicable or data not available.

Classification

FamilyCELASTRACEAE - Bittersweet family
Genus Celastrus
Species Celastrus orbiculatus Thunberg - Asian Bittersweet; Oriental Bittersweet

Citation

Citation **
Basionym: **
Type: **

** Not applicable or data not available.

Synonyms

No synonyms exist for this species.

Specimens and Distribution

This species has been reported in the following counties by the herbaria listed. An overview of the individual specimens are provided in the table that follows. Click on the accession number to view details; click on column headers to sort; choose a county or herbaria to filter the specimen data.

Counties included on distribution map: Autauga, Chambers, Jefferson, Lee, Pike

Counties represented by specimen data listed below:

Herbaria represented by specimen data listed below: AMAL, AUA, SAMF, TROY, UNA, UWAL

Range of years during which specimens were collected: -

Barcode / Accession No. County Coll. Date Collector &
Collection No.
Herbarium &
Herbarium Name Used
Image
UWAL0046147 Autauga 03 Nov 2016 Parker, Matthew R.
238
UWAL
Celastrus orbiculatus Thunberg
AUA_ACC072470 Chambers 14 AUG 2013 BARGER, T. WAYNE
SP1192
AUA
CELASTRUS ORBICULATUS THUNB. ssp. FRATERNIFLORA
AUA_ACC066885 Autauga 4 NOV 2006 SCHOTZ, ALFRED
2047
AUA
CELASTRUS ORBICULATUS THUNB.
AMAL00009445 Pike 29 Nov 2005 A. R. Diamond
16073
AMAL
Celastrus orbiculatus Thunberg
SAMF0002383 Jefferson 10 May 2005 Davenport, L. J.
3174
SAMF
Celastrus orbiculatus Thunberg
AUA_ACC065957 Pike 29 NOV 2005 DIAMOND, JR., ALVIN R.
16073
AUA
CELASTRUS ORBICULATUS THUNB.
TROY000003717 Pike 29 Nov 2005 Alvin R. Diamond
16073
TROY
Celastrus orbiculatus Thunberg
TROY000047390 Autauga 03 Nov 2016 Matthew R. Parker
238
TROY
Celastrus orbiculatus Thunberg
UNA00067292 Autauga 4 Nov 2006 Alfred Schotz
2047
UNA
Celastrus orbiculatus Thunb.
AUA_ACC046660 Lee 9 MAY 1983 MCLENDON, DEAN B.
106
AUA
CELASTRUS ORBICULATUS THUNB.
AMAL00009467 Chambers 14 Aug 2013 T. Wayne Barger
SP#1192
AMAL
Celastrus orbiculatus Thunb.
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