Ten-Years Ago (09-December-2007) — New Jersey

Backyard Autumn Nature in New Jersey: Bittersweet Berries

I know there is controversy regarding the Bittersweet vine. I first noticed that I had a vine growing on one of my Holly trees. In the fall the bright yellow pod opens to expose a bright red flower. A neighbor came by and asked if she could take some for a Thanksgiving display. When my mother saw the image I posted of the bittersweet berries ten years ago she identified them, and wanted some. I was then told they were an invasive invader from asia that kills the trees that it grows on. Then I read that there were two different plants, one invasive and the other native. The invasive version has thorns, which my plant didn’t have.  So I assumed that I had the native version. Unfortunately, it became too much for the Holly tree as it grew to a size that blocked all of the light to the Holly leaves, and ultimately killed the Holly tree.  I subsequently removed the Bittersweet vines, the wild grape vines, and the poison ivy vines from the trees in my yard. The invasive vine that I am now fighting is the “mile-a-minute” vine.

New Jersey Late Fall Backyard Nature. Bittersweet berries. Image taken with a Nikon D300 and 70-200 mm lens (ISO 200, 200 mm, f/4.5, 1/125 sec). (David J Mathre)
New Jersey Late Fall Backyard Nature. Bittersweet berries. Image taken with a Nikon D300 and 70-200 mm lens (ISO 200, 200 mm, f/4.5, 1/125 sec). (David J Mathre)
New Jersey Late Fall Backyard Nature. Bittersweet berries. Image taken with a Nikon D300 and 70-200 mm lens (ISO 200, 200 mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec). (David J Mathre)
New Jersey Late Fall Backyard Nature. Bittersweet berries. Image taken with a Nikon D300 and 70-200 mm lens (ISO 200, 200 mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec). (David J Mathre)

 

Author: David Mathre

I am a scientist by training (Eckerd College, BSc; Caltech, Ph.D.). I worked for 27 years as a Chemist in the Pharmaceutical Industry developing processes to manufacture medicines for human and animal health. I now spend my time as a photographer and world traveler. My interests in photography include the natural world, wildlife, landscapes, skyscapes, and seascapes. I have traveled to over 50 countries over the last 10 years, often on Semester at Sea voyages. While at home in New Jersey, I spend time on a home renovation project and expanding my wildflower garden/meadow.

Leave a Reply