• facebook
  • twitter
  • YouTube
  • RSS feed
  • 651-201-6000
  • 800-967-2474
  • 800-627-3529 TDD
  • PARKING

Loading
NodeFire Save Document
Home > Plants, Pests & Pest Control > Bad Plants > Oriental Bittersweet > Bittersweet Differences

Differentiating Oriental and American bittersweets


It is easy to distinguish female plants of the species in the summer, fall and winter by the position of the flowers and fruit. Flowers and fruit are at the leaf axils on Oriental bittersweet and are only in terminal panicles on American bittersweet stems. Also, the fall fruit capsule color is yellow for Oriental bittersweet and orange for American bittersweet. It is more difficult to distinguish male plants because they do not set fruit. Flower position is still indicative. During the spring, leaf unrolling is also indicative. Conduplicate (folded in half lengthwise with the upper side inward) leaves are Oriental bittersweet and involute (inward curling) leaves are American bittersweet. Other potential characteristics such as leaf shape (Oriental bittersweet has rounder leaves) and fruit number per cluster are highly variable and indefinite.

American bittersweet fruit capsules are orange
American bittersweet fruit capsules are orange
Oriental bittersweet fruit capsules are yellow
Oriental bittersweet fruit capsules are yellow

American bittersweet fruits are at the terminal stem ends
American bittersweet fruits are at the terminal
stem ends
Oriental bittersweet fruits are along the stem at leaf axils
Oriental bittersweet fruits are along the stem
at leaf axils

Oriental bittersweet leaf shape is highly variable and unreliable for identification
Oriental bittersweet leaf shape is highly variable and unreliable for identification


 For more information on identifying bittersweets: