The Bittersweet Invasion

There may be occasions when Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus) still seems somewhat attractive: perhaps as a single vine with a small flourish of orange and yellow fruit. But modest stature and limited fruit production are what we never see as bittersweet tries, and succeeds, to dominate every habitat it traduces. At this time of year, fruiting or not, there is nothing about the vine that doesn't proclaim its thuggishness, tenacity, and conquest. In October the waxy leaves turn from an inconspicuous medium green to lime green to bright yellow. There is no mistaking the bittersweet invasion at this time of year. Mature conifers are coiled with the vines to their uppermost branches (

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Native Gardens of Blue Hill
creating public gardens of Maine native plants
Blue Hill, Maine