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Oriental Bittersweet

Scientific Name

Celastrus orbiculatus Thunb. (ITIS)

Common Name

Oriental bittersweet, Asiatic bittersweet, round-leaved bittersweet, Oriental staff vine, climbing spindle berry

Native To

Eastern Asia (Fryer 2011)

Date of U.S. Introduction

1860s (Fryer 2011)

Means of Introduction

Introduced as an ornamental and for erosion control (Fryer 2011)


Grows as a vine that smothers plants and uproots trees due to its weight (Fryer 2011)

Current U.S. Distribution

Northeastern and Midwestern U.S.

Oriental bittersweet -
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Oriental bittersweet foliage


Photo by Chris Evans; University of Illinois

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Distribution / Maps / Survey Status


Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source.

Council or Task Force
Federal Government
State and Local Government
  • Fryer, J.L. 2011. Celastrus orbiculatus. In: Fire Effects Information System. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory.

  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Celastrus orbiculatus. [Accessed Sep 21, 2023].