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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Monday - September 24, 2007

From: Longview, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Vines
Title: American Bittersweet in east Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Does American Bittersweet vine grow in east Texas? It grows wild in Indiana and want to find it in our new location, Longview, Texas

ANSWER:

Sorry, but Mr. Smarty Plants hasn't been able to find evidence that Celastrus scandens (American bittersweet) has a distribution in East Texas. It has been reported in the Edwards Plateau and the Trans-Pecos regions of Texas and also in several locations in Oklahoma. Since the Oklahoma report says "this species probably occurs throughout the state, but it is inconspicuous during the plant-collecting season", it is certainly worth searching for this plant in suitable habitats near Longview; but, Mr. SP thinks you are going to have to travel north or west to have a chance to see it growing in the wild.

American bittersweet is being threatened in New York and Connecticut by Celastrus orbiculatus (Oriental bittersweet), a nonnative look-alike. You can also see its status in other states.

To learn more about American bittersweet visit Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

 

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