Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Bittersweet Morning

Over the past year, on our jaunts, we pass a nearby stand of bittersweet. All year long, we watch to see how it is faring and recently, I noticed that it was getting ready to be cut. I called Tina and she was agreeable to take a break to go harvest some of the berries.

After checking the bridge I mentioned yesterday (no, it appears that there will NOT be a reproduction covered bridge to take its place - it's just taking them a very long time to get it finished,) we headed over to the bittersweet stand.

We had both taken clippers, but the vines were up a very steep climb and Tina, being the younger and more nimble of the two of us (also a Capricorn/Mountain goat,) managed to reach the vines, cut them and threw them down to me. Here's our "take."

Oriental Staff Vine (Celastrus orbiculatus) is a woody vine native to East Asia of the Celastraceae family. It is also commonly called Oriental Bittersweet, Japanese Bittersweet or Asiatic Bittersweet. Oriental staff vine was introduced into North America in 1879, and is considered to be an invasive species in eastern North America. It closely resembles the native North American species, Celastrus scandens, with which it will readily hybridize.

You can see here how the little bright red berries pop out of their orange/yellow shells as well as the twisty nature of the vines..

I'm not sure why we feel drawn to this plant and really don't know why I wanted it, but I'm sure it will appear as a decorative feature somewhere around the shop - maybe on a wreath.

There is a print circulating of a basket of bittersweet that has a very homey, warm feeling to it and I guess that quality is what makes it so attractive. It reminds me, as we head into colder weather, of a fire in winter.

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