Cut berries for salePhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Bonsai

These berries and their plants are on sale right now. They are called Oriental bittersweet ( latin name: Celastrus orbiculatus) or Tsurumodoki in Japanese. Thunbis a deciduous woody perennial plant which grows as a climbing vine and a trailing shrub. The leaves are alternate, glossy, nearly as wide as they are long (round), with finely toothed margins. There are separate female (fruiting) and male (non-fruiting) plants. Female plants produce clusters of small greenish flowers in axillary clusters (from most leaf axils), and each plant can produce large numbers of fruits and seeds. The fruits are three-valved, yellow, globular capsules that at maturity split open to reveal three red-orange, fleshy arils each containing one or two seeds. The abundance of showy fruits have made Oriental bittersweet a must for use in fall ikebana arrangements.

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This Oriental Bittersweet tree growing wild, was photographed at the Children’s Botanical Gardens in Yokohama.


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