Oriental bittersweet

Prepared by Jennifer L. D’Appollonio, Assistant Scientist, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. Updated April 2019.

Scientific name: Celastrus orbiculatus Thunb.

Common name(s): oriental bittersweet, oriental staff vine, Asian bittersweet, Chinese bittersweet

Link(s): USDA PLANTS Profile, Go Botany

Images: (to see enlargements [PC]: click on image, then right click and choose “view image”)


– perennial

– considered invasive in many states

– may be confused with native American bittersweet, which has longer flower clusters at the tips of stems, not in the leaf axils. The two species will also hybridize with each other; see left sidebar on Go Botany webpage


National Park Service