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  • Celastrus orbiculatus - young plant (Photo: James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, www.forestryimages.org)
  • Celastrus orbiculatus - young foliage (Photo: James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, www.forestryimages.org)
  • Celastrus orbiculatus - specimen with immature fruit (Photo: James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, www.forestryimages.org)
  • Celastrus orbiculatus fruit (Photo: James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, www.forestryimages.org)
  • Celastrus orbiculatus (Photo: Jil M. Swearingen, USDI National Park Service, www.forestryimages.org)
  • Celastrus orbiculatus fruits (Photo: Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, www.forestryimages.org)
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Common name
tsuru-ume-mo-doki (Japanese), Asian bittersweet (English), climbing spindleberry (English), Japanese bittersweet (English), Asiatic bittersweet (English), oriental bittersweet (English), Rundbl├Ąttriger Baumw├╝rger (German)
Synonym
Celastrus orbiculata , Thunb.
Celastrus articulatus , Thunb.
Similar species
Celastrus scandens
Summary
Celastrus orbiculatus is a deciduous, dioecious round-leaved vine that makes use of the 'sit and wait' invasion strategy. This species establishes under closed canopy forest conditions and persists indefinitely until it is released by a disturbance that creates conditions optimal for rapid growth. It invades forested land but has also been known to persist on coasts and may possibly disrupt dune formations. C. orbiculatus can overtop and girdle native trees and shrubs along roads, in clearings and in forest gaps. Identifying and eradicating populations before it they are released by an opening in the canopy is the easiest method of control.
Species Description
Celastrus orbiculatus is described as a deciduous, woody, perennial vine from the staff-tree family (Celastraceae), which sometimes occurs as a trailing shrub. Also known as round-leaved and oriental bittersweet, stems of older plants sometimes grow to 10cm (4 inches) in diameter. Leaves of oriental bittersweet are glossy, rounded, finely toothed and arranged alternately along the stem. Clusters of small greenish flowers emerge from leaf axils, allowing each plant to produce large numbers of seeds. Dreyer (2003) recognises the following identification characterisitics of C. orbiculatus: Axillary buds are 1-3mm long, rounded, with outer scales sometimes becoming spine-like. Leaves are glabrous, alternate in arrangement and extremely variable in size and shape, from broadly oblong-obovate to suborbicular, 2 -12cm long and 1.5 to 8cm wide. Leaf margins are crenate-serrate and leaf base cuneate to obtuse, tip acute to rounded. Petioles are 1-3cm long. Inflorescences are axillary cymes, usually containing 3 - 7 flowers. However inflorescences are sometimes terminal in male plants. Flowers are small, greenish-yellow, and usually become unisexual by abortion or reduction of male or female parts, thus the plants are usually dioecious. Occasional vines develop both unisexual and perfect flowers and are then termed polygamo-dioecious. Another reported variation is occasional monoecious plants, i.e. with both male and female flowers on the same vine. The flowers have 5 sepals and 5 petals. Male flowers contain 5 stamens which are about as long as the petals and inserted at the edge of a cup-shaped disk around a vestigial pistil. Female flowers have vestigial stamens, a 3-lobed stigma, columnar style and well a developed superior ovary, sometimes embedded in the disk. The fruit are globose, loculicidal capsules, 6 to 8mm in diameter, which change in colour from green to bright yellow as they mature. The capsules are three valved with each valve (locule) containing one or two brown seeds completely enclosed in a fleshy red aril. Upon ripening, the yellow outer covering splits open to reveal the red aril, thus presenting a brightly bicoloured \"dispersal flag\".
Lifecycle Stages
McNab and Loftis (2002) recorded in their study that, \" C. orbiculatus vines emerged from winter dormancy and began stem elongation several weeks before the arborescent overstory. We observed that many C. orbiculatus seedlings from 0.2 to 0.5m height had experienced periodic dieback of the stem terminal followed by resprouting. Paterson (1975) reported that tip ends of C. orbiculatus stems are typically killed by onset of freezing temperatures in the fall and although not reported, susceptibility of seedlings to cold damage could be influenced by their location in relation to canopy gaps.\" Silveri et al. (2001) state that, \"In the absence of disturbance, C. orbiculatus invades forested habitat using a strategy similar to the 'advance regeneration' of some canopy trees. Like these shade tolerant species (Philips and Shure 1990; White 1991), C. orbiculatus seedlings may persist for long periods on the forest floor but require creation of a gap to reach the canopy and reproduce sexually.\"
Uses
Celastrus orbiculatus favourable ornamental qualities, particularly its colourful and abundant fruit, make it an attractive ornamental species.
Habitat Description
Oriental bittersweet dominates gap and edge environments, but may also colonise undisturbed forest (Ellsworth et al. 2004b). Dreyer (2003) states, \"Its North American habitat preferences have been stated as wide. It is variously described as occupying open woods and thickets, roadsides, fence-rows, and thickets, alluvial woods, roadsides and thickets\".
Reproduction
McNab and Loftis (2002) state that, \"Seeds are believed to be disseminated primarily by birds ( Stoll et al. 1980 and Dreyer, 1994) that consume the leathery capsule consisting of three to five seeds, which ripens in the fall.\"
Pathway
McNab and Loftis (2002) state that oriental bittersweet was introduced as an ornamental to the USA.

Principal source: Dreyer, 2003. Element Stewardship Abstract For Celastrus orbiculatus Thunb. (C. articulatus)
McNab and Loftis, 2002. Probability of occurrence and habitat features for oriental bittersweet in an oak forest in the southern Appalachian mountains, USA.

Compiler: National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) & IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) with support from the Terrestrial and Freshwater Biodiversity Information System (TFBIS) Programme (Copyright statement)

Review: Dr. Robin Harrington. Associate Professor, Department of Natural Resources Conservation. University of Massachusetts. USA

Publication date: 2005-12-15

Recommended citation: Global Invasive Species Database (2016) Species profile: Celastrus orbiculatus. Downloaded from http://www.iucngisd.org/gisd/species.php?sc=156 on 28-09-2016.

General Impacts
McNab and Loftis (2002) observe that, C. orbiculatus characteristics of shade tolerance, rapid growth response upon release from shading, prolific and consistent annual seed production with high viability and germination, and, adaptation to a wide range of suitable environments make it highly competitive with native vegetation and potentially difficult to manage in forests that are subject to recurrent natural or managed disturbance. Ellsworth et al. (2004) state, \"Once established, C. orbiculatus can overtop and girdle native trees and shrubs along roads, in clearings and in forest gaps\". The success of C. orbiculatus may be due to frequent natural and human-caused disturbances in the eastern U.S. (Robertson et al. 1994 ; Luken et al. 1997 ; McDonnell et al. 1997 ; McNab and Loftis, 2002 ). Disturbances can lead to plant invasions through an increase in the availability of resources such as germination sites, light and water (Hobbs and Huenneke, 1992 ; Greenberg et al. 2001 ). However, it has also been suggested that C. orbiculatus seedlings can become established and survive in intact forest understory (Paterson, 1974 , 1975 ; Greenberg et al. 2001 ). This ability has important implications for forest management because disturbances that result in increases in light may release C. orbiculatus already established in the understory. Silveri et al. (2001) state that, \"The annual growth rate of C. orbiculatus may exceed 3m (Paterson 1974), allowing plants in open-light habitats to climb a canopy-sized tree in 3-4 growing seasons. Twining vines are generally limited to small-diameter supports (Teramura et al. 1991), but C. orbiculatus is able to climb tree trunks with a wide variety of diameters, aided by spiny projections around its bud and leaf scars that lodge in the host's bark. C. orbiculatus kills other vegetation through blanketing and constrictive twining, and halts the succession of young deciduous forests (McNab and Meeker 1987; Dreyer 1994).\" Ellsworth et al. (2004) also suggest that failure to control it would result in severe forest degradation and considerably higher future costs associated with forest restoration.
Management Info
For details on preventative measures, chemical, physical, biological control options, please see management information.
Countries (or multi-country features) with distribution records for Celastrus orbiculatus
ALIEN RANGE
NATIVE RANGE
  • china
  • japan
  • korea, democratic people's republic of
  • korea, republic of
  • mongolia
  • russian federation
Informations on Celastrus orbiculatus has been recorded for the following locations. Click on the name for additional informations.
Lorem Ipsum
Location Status Invasiveness Occurrence Source
Details of Celastrus orbiculatus in information
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Impact information
McNab and Loftis (2002) observe that, C. orbiculatus characteristics of shade tolerance, rapid growth response upon release from shading, prolific and consistent annual seed production with high viability and germination, and, adaptation to a wide range of suitable environments make it highly competitive with native vegetation and potentially difficult to manage in forests that are subject to recurrent natural or managed disturbance. Ellsworth et al. (2004) state, \"Once established, C. orbiculatus can overtop and girdle native trees and shrubs along roads, in clearings and in forest gaps\". The success of C. orbiculatus may be due to frequent natural and human-caused disturbances in the eastern U.S. (Robertson et al. 1994 ; Luken et al. 1997 ; McDonnell et al. 1997 ; McNab and Loftis, 2002 ). Disturbances can lead to plant invasions through an increase in the availability of resources such as germination sites, light and water (Hobbs and Huenneke, 1992 ; Greenberg et al. 2001 ). However, it has also been suggested that C. orbiculatus seedlings can become established and survive in intact forest understory (Paterson, 1974 , 1975 ; Greenberg et al. 2001 ). This ability has important implications for forest management because disturbances that result in increases in light may release C. orbiculatus already established in the understory. Silveri et al. (2001) state that, \"The annual growth rate of C. orbiculatus may exceed 3m (Paterson 1974), allowing plants in open-light habitats to climb a canopy-sized tree in 3-4 growing seasons. Twining vines are generally limited to small-diameter supports (Teramura et al. 1991), but C. orbiculatus is able to climb tree trunks with a wide variety of diameters, aided by spiny projections around its bud and leaf scars that lodge in the host's bark. C. orbiculatus kills other vegetation through blanketing and constrictive twining, and halts the succession of young deciduous forests (McNab and Meeker 1987; Dreyer 1994).\" Ellsworth et al. (2004) also suggest that failure to control it would result in severe forest degradation and considerably higher future costs associated with forest restoration.
Red List assessed species 0:
Management information
For details on preventative measures, chemical, physical, biological control options, please see management information.
Bibliography
27 references found for Celastrus orbiculatus

Managment information
Asheville Citizen-Times, Nov. 27, 2004. Much bitter, no sweet in ruling on invasive plant.
Bergmann, C., and J. M. Swearingen. 1999. Oriental bittersweet, Celastrus orbiculatus Thunb.. Plant Conservation Alliance, Alien Plant Working Group.
Summary: Information on description, economic importance, distribution, habitat, history, growth, and impacts and management of species.
Available from: http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/fact/ceor1.htm [Accessed 29 September 2004]
Dreyer, G. D. 2003. Element Stewardship Abstract for Celastrus orbiculatus Asiatic Bittersweet. The Nature Conservancy
Summary: Information on description, economic importance, distribution, habitat, history, growth, and impacts and management of species.
Available from: http://tncweeds.ucdavis.edu/esadocs/documnts/celaorb.html [Accessed 29 September 2004]
Environment Waikato. 2002. Climbing Spindleberry (Celastrus orbiculatus).
Greenberg, Cathryn H; Smith, Lindsay M and Levey, Douglas J, 2001. Fruit fate, seed germination and growth of an invasive vine: An experimental test of sit and wait strategy. Biological Invasions. 3(4). 363-372.
Greenberg, C. H., L. M. Smith, and D. J. Levey. 2001. Fruit fate, seed germination and growth of an invasive vine - an experimental test of sit and wait strategy. Biological Invasion 3: 363-372.
Summary: A study into the spread of this invasive species. It describes in detail the invasive pathway of this species and its impacts on the environment. The authors also include management suggestions.
[Accessed 29 September 2004]
Hutchinson, M. 1990. Round-leaved bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus Thunb.). Vegetation Management Guideline: Illinois Nature Preserves Commission.
Summary: Information on description, economic importance, distribution, habitat, history, growth, and impacts and management of species.
Available from: http://www.inhs.uiuc.edu/chf/outreach/VMG/rlbitter.html [Accessed 29 September 2004]
IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.4.
Summary: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species provides taxonomic, conservation status and distribution information on taxa that have been globally evaluated using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. This system is designed to determine the relative risk of extinction, and the main purpose of the IUCN Red List is to catalogue and highlight those taxa that are facing a higher risk of global extinction (i.e. those listed as Critically Endangered, Endangered and Vulnerable). The IUCN Red List also includes information on taxa that are categorized as Extinct or Extinct in the Wild; on taxa that cannot be evaluated because of insufficient information (i.e. are Data Deficient); and on taxa that are either close to meeting the threatened thresholds or that would be threatened were it not for an ongoing taxon-specific conservation programme (i.e. are Near Threatened).
Available from: http://www.iucnredlist.org/ [Accessed 25 May 2011]
Marlborough District Council (MDC), 2001. Regional Pest Management Strategy for Marlborough.
McNab, W. H., D. L. Loftis. 2002. Probability of occurrence and habitat features for oriental bittersweet in an oak forest in the southern Appalachian mountains, USA. Forest Ecology and Management 155:45-54
Summary: A study that investigates methods of rapidly surveying land for species. The authors also make note of certain control methods that are available to combat the species, and also certain methods that do now work.
[Accessed 29 September 2004]
National Pest Plant Accord, 2001. Biosecurity New Zealand.
Summary: The National Pest Plant Accord is a cooperative agreement between regional councils and government departments with biosecurity responsibilities. Under the accord, regional councils will undertake surveillance to prevent the commercial sale and/or distribution of an agreed list of pest plants.
Available from: http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/pests-diseases/plants/accord.htm [Accessed 11 August 2005]
New Zealand Plant Conservation Network, 2005. Unwanted Organisms. Factsheet Celastrus orbiculatus
Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture (RNZIH), 2005. Climbing spindle berry Celastrus orbiculatus
Summary: Available from: http://www.rnzih.org.nz/pages/nppa_030.pdf [Accessed 1 October 2005]
Silveri, A., P. W. Dunwiddie, and H. J. Michaels. 2001. Logging and edaphic factors in the invasion of an Asian woody vine in a mesic North American forest. Biological Invasions 3: 379-389.
Summary: This paper documents the impacts logging has had in conjunction with this invasive species. It identifies and points out some of the reasons this species has been allowed to become invasive.
[Accessed 29 September 2004]
Tasman District Council (TDC) 2001. Tasman-Nelson Regional Pest Management Strategy
Ward, B. and Henzell, R. 1999. Gel pruning for the control of invasive vines. ConScience, Department of Conservation, New Zealand.
Summary: Gel pruning is being investigated as an environmentally friendly and effective chemical application system for selectively killing invasive vines.
General information
Fike, Jean and Niering, William A. 1999. Four decades of old field vegetation development and the role of Celastrus orbiculatus in the northeastern United States. Journal of Vegetation Science. 10(4). 483-492
Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), 2010. Celastrus orbiculatus
Summary: Available from: http://www.gbif.net/species/13789666/ [Accessed 15 June 2010]
Hinds, H. R, 1991. Vascular plants new to the flora of New Brunswick Naturaliste Canadien (Quebec). 118(1). 5
ITIS (Integrated Taxonomic Information System), 2004. Online Database Celastrus orbiculatus
Summary: An online database that provides taxonomic information, common names, synonyms and geographical jurisdiction of a species. In addition links are provided to retrieve biological records and collection information from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) Data Portal and bioscience articles from BioOne journals.
Available from: http://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=506068 [Accessed December 31 2004]
Merriam, Robert W. 2003. The abundance, distribution and edge associations of six non-indigenous, harmful plants across North Carolina. Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society. 130(4). 283-291.
Pooler, Margaret R; Dix, Ruth L and Feely, Joan, 2002. Interspecific hybridizations between the native bittersweet, Celastrus scandens, and the introduced invasive species, C. orbiculatus. Southeastern Naturalist. 1(1). 69-76
Steward, Angela M; Clemants, Steven E. and Moore, Gerry, 2003.The concurrent decline of the native Celastrus scandens and spread of the non-native Celastrus orbiculatus in the New York City metropolitan area. Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society. 130(2). 143-146.
USDA-GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network). 2004. Celastrus orbiculatus . National Genetic Resources Program [Online Database] National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland.
Summary: Information on taxonomy and distribution.
Available from: http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/tax_search.pl?Celastrus+orbiculatus [Accessed 29 September 2004]
Contact
The following 1 contacts offer information an advice on Celastrus orbiculatus
Harrington,
Dr. Robin
Forest ecology and conservation
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Associate Professor, Department of Natural Resources Conservation. University of Massachusetts
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