Sunday, November 07, 2010

Bittersweet


Birds and small mammels love the bright yellow and red of Oriental Bittersweet in the cold winter months. Bittersweet is a non-native invassive plant usually found in Eastern Asia, Korea, China and Japan. The berries are bright yellow at end of summer, and split open to reveal the bright reddish-orange "berry" within when mature. It was introduced to the US in the 1860s as an ornamental plant, and is now found from North Carolina west to the Mississippi and all states north. It is often cultivated for use in floral displays but in the wild, Oriental Bittersweet is a climbing vine or shrub that crowds out other vegetation. This innocuous looking plant can grow almost anywhere, even twining up trees, with vines up to four inches thick. The added weight endangers trees in heavy winds and snow, and can literally choke a tree to death.



5 comments:

bettyl said...

That sounds like a northern version of kudzu, as I recall from my days in GA.

Alice Audrey said...

So it's another one of those invasive plants. At least it's prettier than the nap weed that has become a serious danger to the cattle industry out here. There are all kinds of campaigns to get rid of it, including encouragement to weed your own lawn out here.

Heather said...

Yes, it is quite invasive and difficult to control, though garlic mustard seems to be a bigger threat in our area.

Jana said...

Pretty. But sheesh! Why does it have to attain world domination? hehehe

Heather said...

Jana: LOL...a good question!