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Flora Database

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Plant Name:

American Bittersweet

Scientific Name:

Celastrus scandens


American Bittersweet is a deciduous climbing vine with showy orange-red berries and heart-shaped leaves.


Forest edges, open areas, climbing on structures


Provides habitat and food for a variety of wildlife species, including birds and small mammals. The berries are consumed by many bird species and some mammal species.

Growing Conditions:

Thrives in well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade.


American Bittersweet is often used in floral arrangements and wreaths. It has traditional medicinal uses in Native American cultures.

(please exercise caution and consult additional sources or experts before consuming any vegetation):


Photo Credits Below



Fun Facts:

American Bittersweet is a dioecious plant, meaning it has separate male and female flowers on different plants. The berries are toxic to humans but are an important food source for wildlife.

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Photo Credit

M. O'Hearn, J. Carstens, L. Pfiffner, USDA, ARS.

Source File:

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