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Celastrus orbiculatus

Oriental Bittersweet

Yellow autumn foliage and bright red berries

A woody climber that is particularly eye-catching in autumn when it has bright yellow leaves and orange-red seeds.


It will grow well in the sun or the shade in most well drained soils. It can be grown up walls and trellises. Avoid growing up trees as it has a tendency to 'strangle' the tree over time .


Very easy to grow, it can become invasive, so choose its site carefully. It will need plenty of support if training against a wall.

Native to China, Korea and Japan this climber is little known in the UK, but its hardy nature and excellent autumn colour make it a great choice.

Plant details

In depth plant information

Property Value
Plant type Climber
Flower colour
Foliage colour
Typically available April - September
Season of interest Autumn, Spring
Evergreen No
Plant height 910 cm - 1200 cm
Plant width 985 cm - 1200 cm
Fragrant flowers No
Attracts bees No
Attracts butterflies No
Plant height in 5 years 1060 cm
Hardiness zone (?) H4

Will perform best in these conditions

Property Value
Soil type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Light exposure Full sun, Part shade
Soil drainage Well drained
Planting instructions

Water the plant in its pot thoroughly before planting – give it a good soaking. Prepare the area by digging a hole twice the size of the pot at least 15cm away from the wall, fence or support. Dig compost into the base of the hole. Remove the pot and position the plant – along with its supporting cane in the hole, leaning onto the support, with the top of the rootball about level with the surrounding soil. Refill the planting hole with a mixture of garden soil and compost, firming as you go. Arrange and tie the stems onto the support. Water in well and keep well watered during the plant's first year.

Planting site Banks and slopes

Typically available

From April to September