Invasive SpeciesOriental bittersweet

Celastrus orbiculatus
FOUND by TeamDynamite
ID Confirmed
Quality checked by cloud9
Peer reviewed by Experian1
Field Notes
WE ARE HAPPY BECAUSE... We get to go outside on a wonderful sunny day. It's not to humid, its perfect. We don't need to stay inside and do normal, everyday paperwork. We get to go outside and explore the forest for our plant, one that we are confident to find; the Oriental Bittersweet! WE SEE, HEAR, AND SMELL... We see lots of bright green plants, bushes and trees, with the occasional reds and oranges because fall has just begun. We saw some flowers that gave the area some purples and blues, and heard some seagulls overhead. Also, we heard other groups talking amongst themselves, the sound of branches cracking underneath our and other groups' feet, and some other birds cawing. We smelled the wet Earth, (from the rainy day before) wet grass, and wet, rotting wood. WE ARE SURPRISED BY WHAT WE FOUND OR DIDN'T FIND BECAUSE... We were surprised to find how badly and how much the Oriental Bittersweet had taken over. We soon found out that it had reproduced and there were 2 or 3 of them in that one area. It had strangled and/or killed most of the other species that were in that area. It was one big mangled mess of vines, which made it extremely difficult to find where the plant first started. QUESTIONS AND PROBLEMS WE RAN INTO... The one problem we ran into was trying to find where our plant first started. We didn't know how we were going to get the quadrat into the space that we needed. That was somewhat difficult.
A sketch of our study site.
Supporting Evidence
Photo of my evidence.
Our plant has a long vine, choking and growing on other trees. The branches twist like the example on our species card.
Photo of my evidence.
The leaves have a glossy look to them, with exaggerated tips, like the example. Our measurements show the leaf to be approx. 13 cm. long, the maximum length possible.
Photo of my evidence.
The berries, unlike the American Bittersweet, which has dark red to black berries, are bright red with yellow-green skins covering them.
Species Observation: Species Looked For
Did you find it?: 
I think I found it
Scientific name:
Celastrus orbiculatus
Common name:
Oriental bittersweet
Count of individuals: 
Between 1/2 and 3/4
Fruit (plants)
Sampling method: 
Quadrat (user-placement)
Photo of our sampling method.
Place Studied
We’re sorry, JavaScript is required to view the map. If JavaScript is you may wish to upgrade to a newer browser in order to view this map.
Map this species
N 43.915634 °
W -69.827181 °
Observation Site Information
A photo of our study site.
Upland - Field
Trip Information
Huse School
Trip date: 
Tue, 2011-09-27 10:02
Town or city: 
Type of investigation: 
Species and Habitat Survey
Lower Kennebec
Habitat Observations
Species diversity: 
5 different species
Evidence of vectors: 
Paved road
Dirt road
Walking trail
Recent disturbance
trash dump
Tree canopy cover: 
3/4 - Completely covered
Soil moisture: 


WOW! My class was looking at your field notes to help us get ready for our field mission and we really loved your descriptive notes and detailed drawing! The only helpful hint we might have for next time would be to focus the camera on object of interest, such as the berry photo. We wanted to see more of the berries. :) Other than that, awesome job!

I agree with jdrake's comments. Awesome sketch, and notes!

I actually think that you might have found American bittersweet, but I can't tell for sure. Actually, a close up of your fruit would help. Your great sketch is part of what makes me think it might be American bittersweet. The leaf looks longer and more slender than Oriental bittersweet. One identifying feature of American bittersweet is if the ratio of length to width is greater than or equal to 2.0.

Check out this resource:

Tell me what you think it is.