Here's another leftover from the New York trip. Marie wanted to show me some fantastic vines she had found. They were curling all over the woods, and each other.
When the vines got large, the bark broke into clear diamond shapes.
I had no idea what it was. I kept trying to find some leaves that actually went with the vines. I finally found some way up high. The camera helped me pull them closer.
They weren't any help. With a bit more hunting we found some leaves closer, and discovered that the plant was actually in bloom. Here are the little green flowers.
I was totally mystified. I didn't even know where to start looking! Thanks to the internet, searching for large curling vines soon led me to the answer.
This is an alien bittersweet, Celastrus orbiculatus. Sometimes it's called Oriental or Asian bittersweet. In the fall, it will have the orange fruits familiar on the native bittersweet. But the problem is, it will grow all over anything, even large trees, and strangle them all.
Bet I won't forget this one!
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