The sweet side of winter

bittersweet useOn the mountain behind our family cemetery in Courtdale is a sparking profusion of Oriental Bittersweet, looking like natural Christmas ornaments spread throughout the forest. But it’s also a bad boy.

introduced to the U.S. in the 1860s as an ornamental plant, it is still widely planted for this reason. It is a prolific seed producer, and distributed by birds

Asiatic bittersweet – as its also known — forms dense thickets which prevent lower plants from photosynthesizing, and strangles shrubs and small trees by girdling their roots. It is displacing native America bittersweet (Celastrus scandens) by out-competing it and hybridizing with it.

To protect the native bittersweet, and since it is difficult to tell the two apart, it’s best not to pick any bittersweet but instead admire it where you find it.

Author: luzerne2112

As I get older -- and I'm 70 now -- I seem to find more and more that nature is the true source of peace, inspiration and, most of all, the truth the passeth understanding. Though my knowledge is sketchy and superficial, I wanted to share it while I can.

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