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Celastrus orbiculatus, Oriental Bittersweet, Climbing Spindleberry

Celastrus orbiculatus

Oriental Bittersweet, Climbing Spindleberry
Family: Celastraceae
Origin: China
Vine or creeperShadeSemi-shadeRegular waterModerate waterDeciduousAttracts butterflies, hummingbirdsInvasivePoisonous or toxicSubtropical, cold hardy at least to 30s F for a short time

Rounded yellow three-valved capsules split open at maturity to reveal closely packed seeds completely enclosed in fleshy red or orange arils. Upon ripening the yellow outer covering contrasts beautifully with the red or pink inside. The fruits stay decorative for several months and make an excellent addition to dried flower arrangements or interior decoration. It is well suited for covering tall fences, solid structures, and makes a good plant for creating noise barriers along roads and motorways. Due to its rampant growth it can overwhelm other plants. When Celastrus orbiculatus grows by itself, it forms thickets; when it is near a tree or shrub, the vines twist themselves around the trunk. The encircling vines have been known to strangle the host tree to death.

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