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Published In: Species Plantarum 1: 196. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 8/11/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Native


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2. Celastrus scandens L. (American bittersweet)

Pl. 350 f, g; Map 1503

Bark light gray, that of older branches smooth. Leaves with petioles 1–2 cm long. Leaf blades 5–12 cm long, 2–7 cm wide, mostly elliptic or obovate, the margins bluntly toothed, rounded to angled or short-tapered at the base, rounded to more commonly sharply tapered at the tip, both surfaces glabrous, the upper surface green to dark green, the undersurface light green to pale green. Flowers in clusters of 12–40, terminal on the branches. Sepals 1.0–1.5 mm long. Petals 3–4 mm long, 1.0–1.5 mm wide, narrowly oblong, rounded at the tip, greenish white to white. Fruits 6–8 mm long, 8–10 mm in diameter, the valves with the outer surface orange at maturity, the inner surface pale yellow to nearly white. 2n=46. May–June.

Scattered nearly throughout the state (eastern U.S. to Montana and Texas; Canada). Bottomland forests, mesic upland forests, bases and ledges of bluffs, and margins of upland prairies, loess hill prairies, and glades; also fencerows, railroads, and roadsides.

This is the only species of Celastrus native to North America. Bees are probably the major pollinators, although wind pollination also may occur.



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