American Bittersweet Vine

While Bittersweet is a native plant to the midwest and eastern parts of the US, we don’t see it very often.

So it was a treat to come upon it wearing fresh coat of snow the other day.

Bittersweet was once a very common sight, but is now so rare, it is on the endangered list in many states.

While all parts of the plant are poisonous, the berries are eaten by birds and small animals.

The Native Americans used the inner bark for an emergency food source.

I was tempted to cut some of the branches to take home, but didn’t due to its rarity.

Hopefully these berries will grow into new plants someday and help to bring the plant back from its endangered status.

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——–> UP NEXT: The meandering Pony Creek in winter.

10 comments to American Bittersweet Vine

  • trisha harris

    Love this beautiful plant. I truly enjoy your blog, highlight of my day!

  • Sandra

    I love to learn about the flora and fauna everywhere and anywhere. We have lots of wildflowers on our place and I have tried to preserve them. Bittersweet is so pretty. Enjoy your site.

  • Beautiful details and DOF on these photos. Just lovely. Happy New Year!

  • That is on the list of things that I would like to grow here someday. .I’ve never seen it offered from a nursery. .and rarely in catalogs. Gorgeous pictures!! Wouldn’t you have hated to be the Indian that fed different parts of those plants to her family. .only to find out that they were poisonous!! Thank God for grocery stores 🙂

  • Doe of Mi.

    I haven’t seen Bittersweet since I very young and believe me that was many years ago. Which means I had forgotten about it. Its beautiful and so are your photos. Thanks

  • Vivian

    I looked up American bittersweet and discovered that it can be cultivated. There is an invasive “oriental bittersweet” too, which is apparently taking over, pushing out the native American variety. The oriental type can kill trees, too. Here’s a website about the American bittersweet: http://www.gardenguides.com/taxonomy/american-bittersweet-celastrus-scandens/
    Perhaps someone might like to try growing bittersweet (American variety). Happy New Year!

  • It is beautiful! We have some growing around here, but I don’t know if it is the American or ornamental. I might have to try and figure that out.

  • How pretty! I don’t recall ever seeing that here in Pennsylvania…but maybe it’s here somewhere. I love your shots because of the detail of the snow crystals! so gorgeous! and the contrast of the red and white!

  • Oh how pretty to see that..Since it is building up around me a lot of the fields are going to sub divisions, what a shame. But I am happy that you still have some open spaces by you.

  • Just really beautiful photos! You are so lucky to have so many things to phoptgraph where you live. All you have to do is step out your back door. I guess I don’t have that photograhers eye like you and Harland do. Love the information you give too. I love Bittersweet. I had no idea it was so rare. I think you should frame your work!

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