More Than One Type of Bittersweet II
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Susan Carroll
Posted on: January 21, 2008

I read that Celastrus scandens, not Solanum dulcamara, is the noninvasive variety.

Solanum dulcamara and Celastrus scandens are both known by the name "bittersweet" but they are entirely different plants. I discussed this previously; please see:

http://www.richters.com/show.cgi?page=./QandA/Richters/20070324-1.html

Solanum dulcamara is listed in the WeedUS database (http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/list/WeedUS.xls) as "invasive" in 7 states. The american bittersweet, Celastrus scandens, is not listed while a related asian species, C. orbiculatus, is listed (invasive in 22 states).

It is important to note that the WeedUS database includes many common garden plants that normally do not present a significant invasive risk when cultivated in gardens. Just about every common garden plant is a "weed" somewhere in the world.

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