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Staff vine
Celastrus scandens
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Celastrales
Family: Celastraceae
Genus: Celastrus

See text

Celastrus, commonly known as staff vine, staff tree or bittersweet, is the type genus of the family Celastraceae; it contains over 40 species of shrubs and vines, which have a wide distribution in East Asia, Australasia, Africa, and the Americas.[2]

Celastrus orbiculatus


The leaves are alternate and simple, ovoid, and typically 5–20 cm (2.0–7.9 in) long. The flowers are small, white, pink or greenish, and borne in long panicles; the fruit is a three-valved berry.

In North America, they are known as bittersweet, presumably a result of confusion with the unrelated bittersweet (Solanum dulcamara) by early colonists. C. orbiculatus is a serious invasive weed in much of eastern North America.


Plants of the World Online[2] includes:

  1. Celastrus aculeatus Merr.
  2. Celastrus angulatus Maxim.
  3. Celastrus australis Harv. & F.Muell. – Australian staff vine
  4. Celastrus caseariifolius Lundell
  5. Celastrus cuneatus (Rehder & E.H.Wilson) C.Y.Cheng & T.C.Kao
  6. Celastrus flagellaris Rupr.
  7. Celastrus franchetianus Loes.
  8. Celastrus gemmatus Loes.
  9. Celastrus glaucophyllus Rehder & E.H.Wilson
  10. Celastrus grenadensis Urb.
  11. Celastrus hindsii Benth.
  12. Celastrus hirsutus H.F.Comber
  13. Celastrus homaliifolius P.S.Hsu
  14. Celastrus hookeri Prain
  15. Celastrus hypoleucoides P.L.Chiu
  16. Celastrus hypoleucus (Oliv.) Warb. ex Loes.
  17. Celastrus kusanoi Hayata
  18. Celastrus lenticellatus Lundell
  19. Celastrus madagascariensis Loes.
  20. Celastrus membranifolius Prain
  21. Celastrus microcarpus D.Don
  22. Celastrus monospermoides Loes.
  23. Celastrus monospermus Roxb.
  24. Celastrus novoguineensis Merr. & L.M.Perry
  25. Celastrus oblanceifolius Chen H.Wang & P.C.Tsoong
  26. Celastrus obovatifolius X.Y.Mu & Z.X.Zhang
  27. Celastrus orbiculatus Thunb. – Oriental bittersweet
  28. Celastrus panamensis Lundell
  29. Celastrus paniculatus Willd. – black oil plant, climbing staff tree, or intellect tree
  30. Celastrus pringlei Rose
  31. Celastrus punctatus Thunb.
  32. Celastrus richii A.Gray
  33. Celastrus rosthornianus Loes.
  34. Celastrus rugosus Rehder & E.H.Wilson
  35. Celastrus scandens L. – American bittersweet
  36. Celastrus stephanotiifolius (Makino) Makino
  37. Celastrus stylosus Wall.
  38. Celastrus subspicatus Hook.
  39. Celastrus tonkinensis Pit.
  40. Celastrus vaniotii (H.Lév.) Rehder[3]
  41. Celastrus virens (F.T.Wang & T.Tang) C.Y.Cheng & T.C.Kao
  42. Celastrus vulcanicola Donn.Sm.
  43. Celastrus yuloensis X.Y.Mu
  44. Celastrus zhejiangensis P.L.Chiu, G.Y.Li & Z.H.Chen


  1. ^ "Celastrus L." Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2007-10-05. Archived from the original on 2009-05-06. Retrieved 2009-04-16.
  2. ^ a b Plants of the World Online: Celastrus L. (retrieved 10 September 2023)
  3. ^ "Species Records of Celastrus". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. Archived from the original on 2009-05-06. Retrieved 2009-04-16.

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Celastrus at Wikimedia Commons