Celastrus

Linnaeus
Sp. Pl. 1: 196. 1753.
Common names: Bittersweet
Etymology: Greek kelastros, ancient name for holly, Ilex aquifolium
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 12. Treatment on page 120. Mentioned on page 112.

Vines, twining, polygamodioecious. Branchlets terete. Leaves deciduous [persistent], alternate; stipules present; petiole present; blade margins denticulate; venation pinnate. Inflorescences terminal or axillary, panicles or cymes [racemes]. Flowers bisexual and unisexual, radially symmetric; perianth and androecium hypogynous; hypanthium absent; sepals 5, distinct; petals 5, white or greenish white; nectary intrastaminal, fleshy. Bisexual flowers: stamens 5, free from and inserted under nectary; staminodes 0; pistil 3-carpellate; ovary superior, 3-locular; placentation axile; style 1; stigmas 3; ovules 2 per locule. Staminate flowers: stamens 5; free from and inserted under nectary; staminodes 0; pistillode present. Pistillate flowers: staminodes 5, alternate with petals, undivided, not gland-tipped, minute; pistil 3-carpellate; ovary superior, 3-locular, placentation axile; style 1; stigmas 3; ovules 2 per locule. Fruits capsules, 3-locular, globose or subglobose, 3-lobed distally, apex not beaked. Seeds [1–]2 per locule, ellipsoid, not winged; aril red, completely surrounding seed. x = 23.

Distribution

North America, e Asia, primarily tropics and subtropics, some temperate regions.

Discussion

Species ca. 30 (2 in the flora).

Key

1 Inflorescences terminal, panicles; capsules orange; pollen yellow; leaf blades usually oblong, aestivation involute. Celastrus scandens
1 Inflorescences axillary, cymes; capsules yellow; pollen white; leaf blades suborbiculate to broadly oblong-obovate or ovate-orbiculate, aestivation conduplicate. Celastrus orbiculatus
... more about "Celastrus"
Jinshuang Ma +  and Geoffrey A. Levin +
Linnaeus +
Bittersweet +
North America +, e Asia +, primarily tropics and subtropics +  and some temperate regions. +
Greek kelastros, ancient name for holly, Ilex aquifolium +
hou1955a +, leicht2007a +  and pooler2002a +
Celastrus +
Celastraceae +