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Celastrus Orbiculatus Oriental Bittersweet Asian Bittersweet


Common Name

Oriental Bittersweet, Asiatic Bittersweet, Asian Bittersweet




C. articulatus Thunb.

Known Hazards


Known Habitats

Thickets on grassy slopes in lowland and mountains all over Japan[58]. Forest edges in China[147].


N.E. Asia - China, Japan, Korea.


Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade Full sun Summary


Physical Characteristics

Celastrus orbiculatus is a deciduous Climber growing to 12 m (39ft) by 12 m (39ft) at a fast rate.

It is hardy to zone 4. It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Nov to February. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and are pollinated by Bees.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It requires moist soil.

Edible Uses:*

Edible Parts: Leaves; Seed. *

Medicinal Uses *

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally. *

Antiphlogistic;  Antirheumatic;  Depurative;  Tonic.

The roots, stems and leaves are antiphlogistic, antirheumatic, depurative and tonic[147, 218]. A decoction of the roots and stems is used internally whilst the crushed fresh leaves are used for external applications[147]. The plant is used in the treatment of paralysis, numbness of the four extremities, headache, toothache, spontaneous abscess formation and snake bites[147]. Many plants in this genus contain compounds of interest for their antitumour activity[218]. *




  1. [1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
  2. [11]Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
  3. [58]Ohwi. G. Flora of Japan. (English translation) The standard work. Brilliant, but not for the casual reader.
  4. [78]Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers. A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
  5. [105]Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. The most comprehensive guide to edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
  6. [113]Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation. A very detailed book on propagating trees. Not for the casual reader.
  7. [147]? A Barefoot Doctors Manual. A very readable herbal from China, combining some modern methods with traditional chinese methods.
  8. [177]Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
  9. [182]Thomas. G. S. Ornamental Shrubs, Climbers and Bamboos. Contains a wide range of plants with a brief description, mainly of their ornamental value but also usually of cultivation details and varieties.
  10. [188]Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers Excellent range of photographs, some cultivation details but very little information on plant uses.
  11. [200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
  12. [202]Davis. B. Climbers and Wall Shrubs. Contains information on 2,000 species and cultivars, giving details of cultivation requirements. The text is terse but informative.
  13. [218]Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Details of over 1,200 medicinal plants of China and brief details of their uses. Often includes an analysis, or at least a list of constituents. Heavy going if you are not into the subject.
  14. [219]Grey-Wilson. C. & Matthews. V. Gardening on Walls A nice little book about plants for growing against walls and a small section on plants that can grow in walls.

Source: Celastrus Orbiculatus Plants For A Future, England 1996-2008.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.


Celastrus Orbiculatus Study Published by the National Institutes of Health


Natural dietary supplements are designed to offer the body support to promote health, harmony, balance and overall well being.*

In TCM Celestrus is used in the treatment of paralysis, numbness of the four extremities, headache, toothache, spontaneous abscess formation and snake bites. Many plants in this genus contain compounds of interest for their anti-tumor activity. *

*These statements have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. TCM is an acronym for Traditional Chinese Medicine.

**The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only, not intended to replace your doctor's or other health care professional's advice or treatment. Nor is any information contained on or in any product label or packaging intended to provide or replace professional health care advice. Do not use the this site's information for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem, nor for prescription of any treatment or medication. Always consult with a healthcare professional before undertaking any diet, exercise, herbal or other supplementation program, taking any medications, or if you suspect you may have or already have any type of health problem. Do not stop taking any medication without first consulting your doctor.