American Bittersweet Celastrus scandens
Berry covered branches of American bittersweet have long been used to decorate front doors, brighten dried arrangements and embellish fall displays. Consider growing and harvesting this native plant in your own garden.
You’ll need a bit of space and a sturdy trellis or arbor for this vigorous vine. Plant at least one male and one female plant for pollination and fruit formation. Or grow the self-fruitful First Editions® Autumn Revolution bittersweet. You’ll only need one of these to produce an abundance of large fruit.
Grow American bittersweet in full sun for best fruiting. It’s adaptable to a wide range of soils, but avoid rich soils and over fertilization that can discourage flowering and fruiting.
Do not plant or decorate with Oriental bittersweet that has invaded our natural areas.
A bit more information: Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus) looks similar to our native species. The flowers and fruit of oriental bittersweet are in the leaf axils while our native bittersweet produces flowers and fruits at the end of the branches.