Invasive SpeciesOriental bittersweet

Celastrus orbiculatus
FOUND by fros
Cape Elizabeth
ID Confirmed
Quality checked by gardenerguy
Peer reviewed by
Field Notes
It is October 18, 2011. The air is fresh, and the temperature is approximately 68ºFahrenheit. It is a sunny day, and the leaves around us are changing to a crisp gold and red. We are down at a fenced in swampy area past our school's parking lot. Originally we did not think that finding an Oriental bittersweet in this area would be very likely, though this plant looks just like one. The bittersweet that we found is wound up the sides of the metal fence around the swamp. Past our bittersweet is a clump of what looks like at least five others. Our bittersweet's leaves look about ready to fall off, and there are few of them left as it is. Air is blowing through the area, and the tall grass on the other side of the fence is dancing around. On closer inspection we think that our assumption is correct, and we are start to get ready for the photos. The berries are small and red orange and grouped in small bunches around the plant. The leaves are a green and orange and almost ready to fall off. We think we found the bittersweet.
Supporting Evidence
Photo of my evidence.
Shown here are the leaves of the plant that we found. They are nearly identical to those of the Oriental bittersweet. Of oblong shape, the center was wide and the point was sharpened, like those of any other bittersweet. They were a green and yellow color, and appeared ready to fall off at the time that we went. Since it was fall at the time, the leaves had started to turn brown, and no longer were their normal color of green. However, traces of green were still apparent in the leaves. Regardless, it was obvious that they were the leaves of the bittersweet.
Photo of my evidence.
Shown here are the berries of the plant that we found. They are mostly red, some with a slight orange tinge to them. A yellow/orange area held them to the vine. The shape is that of the bittersweet's, with all sides of each berry somewhat converging into the center and the bottom of the berry. While this sounds strange, looking at the specific berries makes this understandable. This forms several small lines on the sides of the berry, just like on any other Oriental bittersweet. By putting all of this evidence together, we determined that these berries were definitely those of the Oriental bittersweet.
Photo of my evidence.
Here there is a detailed picture of the twisting of the branches around the fence. Using this method the Oriental Bittersweet can grasp most every type of object or plant that is enough strong to hold it. The vines on our bittersweet are comparable to others in that, while they are still small, they have already started to wrap itself around other things. Once it gets larger, this can become dangerous, as they can be quite difficult to get rid of. The vines of the plant here look somewhat dry, which is natural as it is getting late in the year. The vines are growing small "prickles" along its sides, which can become rather sharp and grow larger with the plant. It is obvious that these vines are those of the invasive Oriental bittersweet.
Species Observation: Species Looked For
Did you find it?: 
I think I found it
Scientific name:
Celastrus orbiculatus
Common name:
Oriental bittersweet
Sampling method: 
Quadrat (user-placement)
Photo of our sampling method.
Place Studied
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Map this species
N 43.593089 °
W -70.232083 °
Observation Site Information
A photo of our study site.
Upland - Developed areas
Trip Information
CEMS School Grounds
Trip date: 
Tue, 2011-10-18 08:50
Town or city: 
Cape Elizabeth
Type of investigation: 
Species Survey
Eastern Coastal
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