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Any of several vines with colourful fruit. The genus Celastrus (family Celastraceae) includes American bittersweet, or staff vine (C. scandens), and Oriental bittersweet (C. orbiculatus), woody vines grown as ornamentals. Oriental bittersweet is a more vigorous climber than the American species. Both types climb by twining around supports. Another bittersweet, Solanum dulcamara, belongs to the nightshade family.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on bittersweet, visit Britannica.com.