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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Amazing Oriental Bittersweet

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.

oriental bittersweet

When the vines got large, the bark broke into clear diamond shapes.

oriental bittersweet

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.

oriental bittersweet

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.

oriental bittersweet

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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rainfield61 said...

These crawling things are very common over here at Cerok Tokun.

Glynis Peters said...

Very attractive trunkage and greenery. Shame they choke other things!

Glynis Peters said...

Very attractive trunkage and greenery. Shame they choke other things!

Ann said...

wow, that stuff gets huge vines on it. I thought that was a tree trunk at first and I thought how cool they way it's twisted around itself. It's very cool looking but don't care for things that choke out other plants

Chuck said...

That is a most interesting vine. Like Ann, I first thought it was a weird kind of tree.

john bain said...

Beautiful natural sculptures.

vanilla said...

Northern version of the kudzu that ate the South? Behavior-wise, I mean.

Lin said...

Kind of creepy/cool, right?

Oh--I thought of you today! I saw one of my "teen" praying mantis. Gosh, they are getting BIG!

jeanlivingsimple said...

Interesting vine. Hope it's not major invasive.

Sharkbytes said...

rainfield- It wouldn't be alien there!

Glynis- yes, lots of visual interest

Ann- I think it's a bigger problem in the east, like where I saw it, but people are still planting it

Chuck- it gets as big around as a tree!

John- there were even more, I just had to choose a couple of pix

vanilla- I think the Japanese knotweed is trying for that distinction

Lin- It was pretty weird- biggest vines I've ever seen. Hoooray for teenage mantises!

Jean- I think it is in some places. It had pretty much taken over this section of Esopus Creek.

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