(Solanum dulcamara)

Bittersweet grows in long vines, sometimes reaching over 60 feet long. Its vines girdle trees, chokng them to death. It is an invasive species in the U.S., and is native to Europe and Asia. It can grow in a variety of places, but prefers the shady parts of wetlands.

Bittersweet has berries which ripen to a lovely red color in the fall. When the fruit is ripe the outside splits open, leaving a papery husk around the berry.

The berries are eaten by birds, who spread the seeds far from the plant. They are poisonous to people. Keep them away from children! People like to use stems from this plant with the red beries as additions to flower arangements. This is another way it can spread so fast -- the seeds drop off in a new place, and they grow wherever they fall.

People sometimes cut it down, trying to control it, but it can regrow from the roots.

You can do your part by not planting this in your yard, and by not using it in flower arrangemnts.

Berries in summer

Berries in September

Berries in October

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