Bittersweet


1 entry found.
Bittersweet
Common Name: Bittersweet
Botanical Name: Celastrus scandens (se-LAS-trus SCAN-denz)
Decorative Life: Weeks to many months.
Post Harvest Care:
  • Remove bottom leaves if present, recut stems under water and place in plain tap water.
  • Berry fall can be a problem.
Family Roots:
  • Member of the Celastraceae (staff-tree family).
  • Native to the Eastern US.
  • Related species include Euonymous and Mayten.
Personality:
  • Showy red fruits held in loose clusters at the ends of branches.
  • Branches 18-24 inches long, classed as a dicotyledon, leaves not parallel veined.
  • Plant is a climbing woody shrub (vine).
Availability: Fall-Winter.
Flower Color: Fruits red with yellow coverings.
Storage Specifics: 34-38F.
Tidbits:
  • Male and female flowers occur on separate plants so some of both sexes must be planted together in order to get fruiting branches. The specific epithet name "scandens" means climbing.
  • The attractive red part of the fruit is actually a fleshy covering called aril, which encases the fruit.
  • Normally harvested from the wild in the fall, often in the northeastern and east central portions of the US.
  • The cut stems are long-lasting when used fresh and may also be used preserved or dried.