Bittersweet update

Two bittersweets

I was worried earlier about how long it would take for the new native bittersweet (Celastrus scandens) I planted last fall to cover the trellis. I’m pleasantly surprised to see how quickly the new stuff is growing!  The older non-native (C. orbiculatus) plant is on the left, the native plant is on the right.  With only a couple of months of growth, it’s over halfway up the trellis.  The folks at Moonshine Designs raised some very healthy plants!  I’m continuing to cut back the invasive plant as much as possible, leaving just enough so the trellis doesn’t look barren.  I’m hoping to have all of the orbiculatus out of here by the end of the year.

Do note that you can really tell the difference between the leaves of the invasive versus the native in the photo above.  The invasive’s leaves are rounder, thicker, and glossier than the natives.  There’s also a subtle difference in the distribution of the flowers.

Update: The C. orbiculatus is gone!

5 responses to this post.

  1. […] the new native bittersweet plants are growing up the trellis quicker than I could have imagined. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)More Good Luck […]


  2. I didn’t realize there is a native bittersweet. Cool! it looks happy.


  3. Posted by lakechicagoshores on June 14, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    Oh yeah, and you were right to be afraid of the non-native stuff. It’s very invasive and it hybridizes with the native. I just hope I can get some nice berries off of the native next year.


  4. I was at Possibility Place, a native plant nursery just south of me over the weekend on a Master Gardeners’ field trip – learned alot about alot, and got to ask some questions about bittersweet. I’m looking around here for a good spot to try the native, and I’m comfortable with Possibility Place as a reliable, knowledgeable supplier who won’t accidentally sell the wrong plant. Ah, synchronicity!


  5. Posted by lakechicagoshores on June 16, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    I drool over their website: they have a lot of the plants I was looking for back when I was establishing the backyard garden, but I couldn’t figure out how I’d be able to get in there and get, say, a single mapleleaf viburnum. They are the very definition of a reliable supplier.

    My native bittersweet doesn’t appear to be picky about it’s location at all – or perhaps it really prefers rather unimproved clay-filled (and concrete-chunk-filled) soil in a mostly sunny place.


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