FEATUREcelastrus

Monches Farm, LLC
5890 Monches Road
Colgate, Wisconsin
phone: 262-966-2787

Celastrus Autumn Revolution

Fruiting this week (last week of September)
'Autumn Revolution' Bittersweet
(
Celastrus ‘Autumn Revolution’)

The dried fruit of the Bittersweet vine is extremely popular for autumn decorating. The  clusters of pea-sized fruit  split open in autumn to reveal red seeds inside orange husks. We sell stems of dried bittersweet fruit at this time of year in the shop but, the fact is, you can easily grow your own.

Bittersweet is a large scale rambling & climbing woody vine. It needs a large structural support to climb on. Given that, and at least five hours of sun each day, it will produce an abundance of beautiful orange/red fruit for you each autumn that can be dried for seasonal decorating.

Bittersweet is a dioecious plant, meaning that male and female flowers are borne on separate plants and one of each is needed in order to produce fruit. In the past this meant knowing the sex of the plants to make sure that both a male and female were planted together for cross pollination. Since differentiating Celastrus flowers is difficult and requires expertise many gardeners were disappointed to discover that their Bittersweet vines never produced the decorative fruit for which they were planted.

Now, with the introduction of ‘Autumn Revolution’ the guesswork has been taken out  of growing bittersweet for ornamental fruit. This selection blooms with “perfect” flowers, meaning that both the male & female parts are present in the same flower. Voilà!  An abundance of beautiful fruit on EVERY plant. Not only does this plant set an abundance of  fruit but the fruit is also significantly larger than that of previous selections. All around, a fantastic plant.

Note: There are several types of Bittersweet;  Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus) is an invasive species and illegal to plant in many states. American bittersweet (C. scandens) is a desirable native species and is the species from which 'Autumn Revolution' is derived.

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