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Celastrus orbiculatus

Oriental bittersweet

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Key information

Plant type

Deciduous climber

Flower colour



Autumn colour, Flowers, Fruit



Skill level


photo by S & O, copyright GAP Photos (27984)

Plant details

Celastrus orbiculatus makes a fine display in autumn when the large oval leaves turn yellow, just as the clusters of round fruit turn orange and split open to reveal the bright red seeds inside. For fruits to be produced both male and female plants need to be present; the best plan is to grow two or three plants together in the same planting hole to stand a good chance of having one of each. If grown through a tree, choose a large species such as beech, at least 7.5m (25ft) high when the climbers are planted - they grow very quickly.

Family: Celastraceae

Genus: Celastrus

Species: orbiculatus

Plant type: Deciduous climber

Flower colour: Green

Foliage colour: Mid-green

Feature: Autumn colour, Flowers, Fruit

Sun exposure: Full sun

Soil: Well-drained/light

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Experienced

Height: 1000cm

Spread: 300cm

Time to plant seeds: March to May

Reader reviews


PLEASE... at least if you are in the U.S. midwest, and likely in other areas, do NOT plant this plant. It is an aggressive invasive species and shoves other good plants out, and also produces lots of seed that gets it going all over the place.. DO NOT PLANT this beast.

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