Beautiful Bittersweet Vine: Decorating with Nature

Every fall I look around for some bittersweet vine to use in my decor. There’s something about the bright red berries with their outer yellow shells, and their flower-like structure that attracts me.

If you like to decorate with nature you may be interested to learn about bittersweet vine, how to find it and use it in your fall decor.

Typically the bittersweet vine can be found in the woods and along walking trails here in Pennsylvania.

If you like to decorate with nature you may be interested to learn about bittersweet vine, how to find it and use it in your fall decor.

This is what it will look like in the woods. You’ll see the yellow berries winding around in the brush in up in the trees. I had to wrestle with some wild rose bushes to get to it, so make sure you’re wearing gloves and long sleeves to protect yourself.

Here’s the interesting little fact about this vine. It is actually Oriental Bittersweet, Celastrus orbiculatus, not our native American Bittersweet, Celastrus  scandens. The two are very similar, but American Bittersweet is not as hardy, has an orange covering, and the berries are on the terminals or ends of branches. Here’s a great article  explaining differences with a good image comparison.

If you like to decorate with nature you may be interested to learn about bittersweet vine, how to find it and use it in your fall decor.

The berries are small and yellow and often in clusters.

If you like to decorate with nature you may be interested to learn about bittersweet vine, how to find it and use it in your fall decor.

Overnight the yellow berries pop open to reveal pretty red-orange ones underneath.

If you like to decorate with nature you may be interested to learn about bittersweet vine, how to find it and use it in your fall decor.

Don’t they look like flowers?

If you like to decorate with nature you may be interested to learn about bittersweet vine, how to find it and use it in your fall decor.

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It’s great for making wreaths, and since it’s a vine, its easy to wind around itself. Do this right away so you don’t lose too many berries, or the yellow shell in the process.

If you like to decorate with nature you may be interested to learn about bittersweet vine, how to find it and use it in your fall decor.

Smaller pieces look great in a simple vase.

Doesn’t it scream fall?

The beauty of nature never ceases to amaze me.

If you like to decorate with nature you may be interested to learn about bittersweet vine, how to find it and use it in your fall decor.

About Patti Estep

Patti is the creator of Garden Matter, a home and garden blog filled with projects to inspire your creative side. She loves crafting, gardening, decorating and entertaining at her home in Pennsylvania. When she is not working on a project at home or searching for treasures at nurseries and thrift stores with her girlfriends, you’ll probably find her with family and friends, at a restaurant, or home party enjoying new and different food adventures.

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Comments

  1. Love this – I’ve was out scouting for some berry vines the other day but failed to find anything. We have such weird seasons here – it’s still in the 90’s in the afternoon here. I like how bendable this stem is simply beautiful and the simplicity is perfect.

    • Hi Carole,

      Maybe your vines are yet to come since it’s still warm in Texas. It’s only supposed to reach 70 today. I like it like that. 😉
      Have a great day!
      Patti

  2. It’s one of my favourite vines. I planted one when we first moved here four years ago, but it hasn’t bloomed. Don’t think it gets enough sun. So I’ll be digging it up in the spring and moving it to a sunnier spot.

    • Hi Heather,
      That’s funny. It grows in the woods here but of course, when you want one then it won’t bloom. Murphy’s Law?
      Thanks for stopping by,
      Patti

    • I understood that there needs to be a male and female plant in close proximity for blossoms and berries

      • Hi Judy,

        Ahhh I have heard that about some plants like holly need both male and female to produce berries. I guess the same is true for bittersweet. Thanks for the info.
        Patti

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