Oriental Bittersweet

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A presentation by Monika Chandler, MN Department of Agriculture, on invasive oriental bittersweet in Minnesota. Created in August 2011 and shared on MyMinnesotaWoods.umn.edu

Text of Oriental Bittersweet

  • 1. Oriental Bittersweet Celastrus orbiculatus

2. Oriental bittersweet

  • Woody vine that climbs other vegetation such trees and structures
  • Thrives in a wide range of habitats, light levels, and soil types
  • Grows to 66 in length
  • Introduced as an ornamental


  • Reproduces by seed, rhizome, and stolon
  • Male and female plants
  • Fruit production on female plants
  • Seed dispersal is vectored by birds and other wildlife that eat the fruit containing seed.
  • Short-term seed viability

Biology 4. Urtica/Flickr creative commons Human vectored dispersal 5. Highly invasive and damaging

  • Vines strangle trees, reduce light available for tree growth, and added vine weight can break trees

6. 7. 8. 9. American bittersweetCelastrus scandens

  • Native congener
  • Occur in same habitat
  • Oriental bittersweet outcompetes American bittersweet
  • Hybrids?
  • Cultivars

10. Distinguishing bittersweets American Oriental Fruit capsule color Fruit position 11. Oriental bittersweet distribution EDDMapS. 2011. Early Detection & Distribution Mapping System. The University of Georgia - Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health. Available online at http://www.eddmaps.org/; last accessed August 23, 2011. 12. 13. Report infestations

  • Location information
    • GPS coordinates preferred
    • Note location for infestations on private property without permission to access
  • Digital photographs of the plant (whole plant, leaf, flower, and stem) will aid identification
  • Call Arrest the Pest or 1-888-545-6684

14. Management

  • Outreach and education
  • Mechanical and chemical control methods
    • Cut and remove vines and dig roots
    • Cut stump herbicide treatment
    • Foliar herbicide treatment
    • Basal bark treatment


  • Contact Information
  • Monika Chandler, 651-201-6537
  • MN Dept. of Agriculture
  • [email_address]