Bittersweet – Celastrus scandens Share this:Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) Shop our Growers Choice Subscription! Shop Now Designed with love! Our Grower's Choice Subscription freshly picked and delivered to your door every month. Shop Now Common Name: Bittersweet Botanical Name: Celastrus scandens, se-LAS-trus SCAN-denz Decorative Life: Weeks to many months. Flower Color: Red, Yellow Availability: Fall, Winter 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). 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.