Monday, November 07, 2016

A closer look at the "bittersweet tree"


Last week I shared an update on our local bittersweet and also showed a picture of what appeared to be a bittersweet tree.  On Friday I took the camera (the other pictures had been taken with my Kindle) and went back for a closer look.  It continues to look like a bittersweet tree, but I now think that it isn't.

Two blog friends weighed in on this phenomenon and I think they are both right.  Vee noted, "I didn't know that there could be such a thing as a bittersweet tree."  I believe she's right about that.  Bernideen offered this explanation: "It is a vine and probably grew up into the tree."  And I think she's right, too.

This article explains a lot about bittersweet: Bittersweet: Friend or Foe?, and this one: American Bittersweet vs. Invasive Oriental Vines is even more informative.

Here are a few more pictures of the tree (or trees):



A closer look.  See the vines?
At the base of the tree -- more vines and bittersweet.  But I wonder about those darker red berries at the left, right  up next to the tree trunk.  They look like something completely different!
So I believe the "bittersweet tree" was an optical illusion.  It's undoubtedly a bittersweet vine that grew up into the tree just as Bernideen said.  Since the trees it is in are not mine and don't look too valuable anyway, I will just enjoy the autumnal show.

7 comments:

  1. Yes, looks can be deceiving. And, as much as I love bittersweet, I would not plant it in my yard. Too invasive and it eventually kills trees.

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    1. I guess the native bittersweet is not supposed to be invasive, but the Oriental type is. Not sure I would chance it in any case, but at least we both have our sources!

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  2. Oh - the mystery is solved. It is sooooo beautiful. I hope my plants get growing for the future. Who knows how long it took to grow all the way up in that tree?

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    1. I have no idea how long that might have taken. I'm trying to think back to when I first noticed the berries -- probably a couple of years ago. I guess maybe before that I was just too busy to notice.

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    2. Oh, and YOU helped solve the mystery, Bernideen!

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  3. It is a beauty ♥

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    1. Isn't it, Summer? So pretty.

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