AMERICAN BITTERSWEET

Celastrus scandens
STAFF TREE FAMILY (Celastraceae)

Description
This native vine sprawls over other vegetation, but may also have a primary woody stem up to 1 inch in diameter. It spreads by root suckers as well as by seed. The leaves are alternate on the stem, elliptic and pointed (A,B). The small greenish flowers are arranged in clusters (B). The berry-like fruit turns orange (D,E) and splits by October to expose scarlet seeds which may persist on the vine into winter (D).

Occurrence
Grows on woodland hillsides and near water, flowering in May and June. In Fontenelle Forest, rare along Stream Trail. At Neale Woods, uncommon at the entrance to Knull Prairie and elsewhere.

Disclaimer: The content of NatureSearch is provided by dedicated volunteer Naturalists of Fontenelle Nature Association who strive to provide the most accurate information available. Contributors of the images retain their copyrights. The point of contact for this page is: Roland Barth.