1606 N 600 Rd, Baldwin City, 66006

American bittersweet

Celastrus scandens

A deciduous twining woody vine best known for its showy red-orange berries that brighten up fall and winter landscapes. Native to central and eastern North America and typically found in woodland areas, thickets, rocky slopes, bluffs, and along fence rows.

Fruit provides winter food for wildlife species such as grouse, pheasant, quail, rabbit, and squirrel. American bittersweet is the only larval host plant of  Zelleria celastrusella, a rather homely-looking mottled brown and gray moth that deserves a square meal and is no doubt an important part of the food web. There’s not a lot of readily available information about the species.