Asiatic or Oriental Bittersweet,  Celastrus orbiculatus
Celastraceae or Bittersweet Family

Plant Woody vine, often climbing into trees or sprawling over rocks..  Leaves not opposite each other, egg-shaped to roundish, pointed at the tip, with fine teeth.  Flowers in late spring, tiny, green, five-parted, in clusters growing directly from the twigs.  Fruit with a yellow coat that splits open to reveal a red to orange berry divided into sections.

A very invasive alien that climbs over and smothers native vegetation, a highly undesirable species in the Park.  In Wildwood, much too common especiallu along the northern staircase on the eastern slope and climbing into the trees along Wildwood Drive.

In fruit it is unmistakable.  Winged spindle tree (Euonymus alatus) has somehat similar fruits, but they are reddish brown, splitting open to reveal a single-part red berry. When not in fruit it can still be identified by its vine habit and the shape of the leaves.

Flowering branch with leaves
Flowers Flower
Closed fruits Open fruits
Open fruit closeup


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