* Leaves egg to wedge shaped, with fine wavy teeth, and a long point
at the tip, 2-5" long.
* A tangled, high-climbing vine.
* Stem round, smooth, brown.
* Flowers small, green, and clustered.
* Fruits orange clustered pods that
open to reveal scarlet seed coverings.
* Height: Climbs to 60'.
* Flowers May - June.
* Fruits September - December.
* Habitat: Wood edges, fencerows, thickets.
* Range: Eastern United States.
* Bittersweet fruits are eaten by songbirds, ruffed grouse, pheasant,
and fox squirrel. This aggressive plant will literally smother other
plants (and reach out tendrils for passing feet) if not kept in check.
* In the dark and superstitious past, shepherds hung bittersweet
around the necks of those sheep which were suspected to be under
the evil eye.
* Linnaeus believed that bittersweet could be used as a cure
for rheumatism, fever, and other inflammatory diseases.