Asiatic Bittersweet

Asiatic bittersweet is a deciduous vine. It has alternate leaves that are almost round and toothed. Small, green bittersweet2flowers bloom in the spring and early summer. The woody vine wraps around other plants, easily suffocating them. These vines may grow to be 5 inches in diameter and up to 60 feet long. Asiatic bittersweet reproduces rapidly and can easily take over an area in a short period of time. It prefers growing in disturbed areas and along the edges of forests, where it can wind its way up tree trunks while still receiving ample sunlight.

One distinctive feature of this plant is its pea-sized fruits, which mature throughout the season, turning from green to bright yellow in the fall. After the fruit turns yellow, the outer casing splits open, revealing a bright red ball inside. These berries are quite beautiful and are often used to make wreaths and other decorative items for the home. Unfortunately seeds often fall off the wreaths and into lawns, gardens, and compost piles where they take root and spread into the wild. Birds also distribute the seeds of this plant quite effectively.