Collecting Bittersweet

Collecting BittersweetWe’re having a blizzard, so I’m reminiscing for a moment about wildflowers and photos I meant to post. Here’s one from November– the annual ritual of collecting bittersweet for a wreath. Bittersweet is a woody ornamental vine native to Asia, but since arriving in the US around 1860 (and in Massachusetts by 1919), it’s been invasive and destructive. Has yellow flowers and brilliant orange berries. Most important factor in seed dispersal: frugivorous birds. (Cool new word!)

Oriental Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus)

3 thoughts on “Collecting Bittersweet

  1. Love your page! Am writing a novel about hiking the AT and have a young character from Maynard. Am writing his backstory to help me think about him, and wondering – what is an iconic spring wildflower there and when would it likely appear? In Southwest Virginia, where I live, there is an incredible grand floral parade that starts in town with forsythia (and other yard plants) and then carries on in the wild with trillium, redbud, dogwood, mayapple, etc. Would like to know what my character sees on their horse farm property in the spring!

    • We have all those same things, probably just a little later than you… if you look at the archives of my blog by month, esp.for 2012, you’ll see what was in bloom, month by month (and note that at the bottom of the page you can go to older posts for that same month). (That was the year I kept the blog really intensively and photographed every wild blooming thing I could find…) I’m having a hard time thinking what would be considered iconic… I love to find jack-in-the-pulpit and lady’s slipper, but those are more woodland plants, not so likely to appear on a horse farm… but in nearby woods, yes, and I nominate those! Around the fields, maybe crown vetch, red clover… and if you want to find when it would be blooming here, just put the name in the search area and it will find it for you… good luck!

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