Native Plant Database

Header Photo: Mervin Wallace

American Bittersweet

Celastrus scandens
Plant Type: Vines
Native Environment: Forest
Season of Interest: Late (July - frost), Winter (Nov - Mar)
Main Color:
Fall Color: Yellow

USDA PLANTS Range Map

At the range map link above, zoom in for county-level data

Sun Exposure 
Full Sun, Medium Sun/Average Shade
Soil
Moisture
Dry, Moderate
Nature Attracting
Wildlife Benefit
Food/Birds, Food/Small Animals
Animal
Resistance
Size

Height:

20 to
feet

Spread:

to
inches
Size
Height: 20 to
feet
Spread: to
inches
Size
Height: 20 to
feet
Spread: to
inches
Typical Landscape Use
Grow on phone poles or use to cover trellis or walls. Do not plant near trees as its twining habit may constrict and kill other plants.
Establishment and Care Instructions
Fruits best in full sun; adapts to most soil types but may get too aggressive in rich soil.
Special Features
Special Usage
Dried Flower, Fresh Cut Flower
Basic Description

A twining woody vine that will grow vertically or sprawl horizontally over bushes and fences. Hanging clusters of orange-red fruit split open to show bright red-orange seed coats. Plants are male or female. Both sexes are needed for fruit set.Note: Oriental Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus) is very similar and is a highly invasive vine. Use care in acquiring bittersweet plants.

Where Should I Start?

Check out the Grow Native! Committee’s Top Ten picks of native plants for a particular purpose.

What’s the Next Step?

Picked out your plants? View our Resource Guide of garden centers, seed sources, landscapers, education resources, and more!

Where Can I Find This Plant in Nature?

Learn about the Native Environment(s) inhabited by the plants in this database.

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