Nov 23 2009
Oriental Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus), native to Asia, captured the hearts of American gardeners in the 1870s. What an ideal plant it seemed, with gorgeous red berries that appeared just in time for festive holiday decorations.
Unfortunately it escaped to the wild and is now an invasive vine that thickly covers our native plants. It spreads easily because its fruit tastes good to birds and is now listed as invasive in 21 states and 14 national parks. What a mistake!
And yet, it is beautiful.
(photo by Dianne Machesney)