Catha articulata (Thunb.) G.Don
Celastrus articulatus Thunb.
Celastrus crispulus Regel
Celastrus insularis Koidz.
Celastrus jeholensis Nakai
Celastrus lancifolius Nakai
Celastrus strigillosus Nakai
Celastrus tatarinowii Rupr.
Celastrus versicolor Nakai
Ilex leucantha Hassk.
Common Name: Oriental Bittersweet
Celastrus orbiculatus is a deciduous climbing shrub with branched, twining stems that can climb up to 12 metres high into the surrounding vgetation[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of fibre. The young shoots are harvested in the spring and sold as a food in local markets in Korea[
]. The plant is often grown as an ornamental, where it can be used as a hedge.
Celastrus orbiculatus has spread from cultivation in Europe and N. America, becoming established in native woodland where it can outcompete and exclude native species. It has become a seriously invasive plant in much of eastern North America[
E. Asia - Russian Far East (Amur, Primorye, Sakhalin), eastern China, Japan, Korea.
Thickets on grassy slopes in lowland and mountains all over Japan[
]. Forest edges in China[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
The plant is hardy to about -25°c[
Prefers a deep loamy soil[
] but succeeds in most soils so long as they are not too shallow[
]. Succeeds in full or partial shade[
]. Plants flower more freely if their top-growth is in the sun[
]. Requires a humus-rich soil if it is to be at its best[
A very ornamental plant[
A rampant climber, it requires ample space and is best grown into an old tree[
, 200. It climbs by means of twining and also by the young stems having prickles[
]. Plants do not normally require pruning[
Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[
Plants are usually dioecious, in which case male and female plants must be grown if seed is required, but hermaphrodite forms are in cultivation[
Young leaves - cooked[
]. The young shoots are harvested in spring[
The roots, stems and leaves are antiphlogistic, antirheumatic, depurative and tonic[
]. A decoction of the roots and stems is used internally whilst the crushed fresh leaves are used for external applications[
]. The plant is used in the treatment of paralysis, numbness of the four extremities, headache, toothache, spontaneous abscess formation and snake bites[
The ripe fruit is used in Chinese traditional medicine[
Many plants in this genus contain compounds of interest for their antitumour activity[
The plant can be used as a hedge[
A fine fibre is obtained from the bark[
An extract of the branches and leaves is used as an ingredient in commercial cosmetic preparations as an antioxidant and bleach[
The seed yields around 50% oil[
]. No uses are given
Seed - gather when ripe, store in dry sand and sow late winter in a warm greenhouse[
]. Three months cold stratification leads to a higher germination rate[
]. Remove the flesh of the fruit since this inhibits germination[
]. Germination rates are usually good[
]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, mid summer in a frame[
Layering in August of the current seasons growth. Takes 12 months[
Root cuttings, 6mm thick 25mm long in December. Plant horizontally in pots in a frame[