Saturday, December 13, 2008

Bittersweet is my first

I want to be aware of a plant's origin and somehow expected that my first entry would be native to the area. Alas, this bittersweet appears to be Celastrus orbiculatus, the Oriental Bittersweet and not C. scandens, the American Bittersweet that I was expecting. If that's not enough, it's also a destructive infiltrator capable of girdling and hence killing trees.

My identification comes mainly from counting fruit seeds-- one or none indicates the American Bittersweet (still destructive but more gently so) and five or greater indicates Oriental with 90% probability. (Great Lakes Science Center's American and Oriental Bittersweet Identification)

I found six seeds in each of three fruit sampled.

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