Bittersweet, American (Celastrus scandens)-Hort Answers - University of Illinois Extension
University of Illinois Extension

University of Illinois Extension

Hort Answers


Bittersweet, American
Celastrus scandens

Leaves and fruit of American Bittersweet
Leaves and fruit of American Bittersweet
Glossy green summer foliage; yellow-orange fruit in fall often persisting into winter; autumn color is yellow. Male and female flowers are on separate plants, so both must be present for fruit to develop on the female plants. 
Full sun; moist well drained soil, but tolerates dryness; tolerates alkaline soil. 
  • 'Indian Brave'- male flowers only.
  • 'Indian Princess'-female flowers only.
Mature Height
20 Feet
USDA Hardiness Zone
4 - 8 
Bloom Color
Not of Interest
Bloom Season
May - June
Soil Conditions
Moist, Well-Drained
Exposure/Light Requirements
Full Sun
Method of Attachment
Foliage Color
Fall Foliage Color
Pests and Problems

Environmental Damage

Additional pests and problems that may affect this plant:

Extremely vigorous plant that can become a weed and strangle other plants.
Additional Notes
All parts of this vine are poisonous.

This vine is woody and deciduous.


Related Resources
Home, Yard & Garden Pest Guide
Illinois Commercial Landscape and Turfgrass Pest Management Handbook
U of IL - Distance Diagnosis through Digital Imaging
U of IL - Plant Clinic