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.