In our yard, we have lovely purple lilacs and white lilacs growing together between two small elm trees. In spring they are beautiful. In amoungst them is growing the plant from hell… Oriental Bittersweet. Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus) is one of North America’s most invasive plants. It spreads underground via rhizomes. It will wrap itself around most anything, and destroy whatever is in it’s path.
We bought the house two years ago, and along came with it a ton of Bittersweet. Being that it was fall when we moved in, the bittersweet took it’s toll until spring. When we went to irradicate it from the area, we realized it was wrapped around the elm, and had been for some time. The elm actually had groves grown into it from where the bittersweet had contoured around it for so many years. It was kind of sad to see.
Since then, we have been keeping the bittersweet cut low, but are now trying to irradicate it completely from that garden. Last night we got about 1/4 of it done before realizing this was not gong to be an easy job. The roots are many, and some go deep. I believe it is a plant from hell being that the roots are red, and go down. I am not sure how we can destroy it all forever, but we will certainly try.
If we can not remove it from this garden, we will remove the lilacs and trees, and let the bittersweet entangle itself…hopefully to death.