Celastrus

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Staff vine
Celastrus scandens.jpg
Celastrus scandens
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Celastrales
Family: Celastraceae
Subfamily: Celastroideae
Genus: Celastrus
L.[1]
Species

See text

Celastrus, commonly known as staff vine, staff tree or bittersweet is a genus in the Celastraceae family which comprises about 30-40 species of shrubs and vines. They have a wide distribution in East Asia, Australasia, Africa and the Americas.

Celastrus orbiculatus

The leaves are alternate and simple ovoid, typically 5–20 centimetres (2.0–7.9 in) long. The flowers are small, white, pink or greenish, and borne in long panicles; the fruit is a red three-valved berry. The fruit are eaten by frugivorous birds, which disperse the seeds in their droppings. All parts of the plants are poisonous to humans if eaten.

In North America, they are known as bittersweet, presumably a result of confusion with the unrelated Bittersweet (Solanum dulcamara) by early colonists. C. orbiculatus is a serious invasive weed in much of eastern North America.



Selected species[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Celastrus L.". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2007-10-05. Retrieved 2009-04-16. 
  2. ^ "Species Records of Celastrus". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2009-04-16.