Christmas Greens

please don't make bittersweet wreaths

Herbdoc has some tips for those of us who go out and collect our own holiday greens:

As I was gathering greens on my property for holiday displays the other day, I came across a small patch of Oriental Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus) in the side yard.  This plant is highly invasive and so I immediately cut it down and bagged it for removal, but I know I will have to watch the area carefully as it’s tenacious and will re-sprout in the spring.

oriental bittersweet berries

That same day a warning from UMass appeared in the local newspaper warning gardeners and homeowners to forgo hanging wreaths or garlands that contain bittersweet or multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora).  Although the red berries and hips are very beautiful and are commonly used in holiday decorations, the fruit can easily drop into the soil or be carried off by the birds that eat them.  The sprouted seeds lead to massive infestations which in turn crowd out native plants and choke mature trees.

multiflora rose hips

If you are designing your own holiday creations or buying them from a local stand, please steer clear of these two invasives.  In the long run, it will save you and your neighbors a lot of unnecessary yard work or money to have them removed.


About dirtynailz

Writer for a daily newspaper, gardener, tree hugger, orchid-grower, photographer, animal lover, hiker, wilderness seeker. Proponent of clover in the lawn and a dog on the bed.
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2 Responses to Christmas Greens

  1. Wendy says:

    oh, ok. But it’s so pretty in it’s rustic state with it’s bright berries, especially up against that white painted brick wall.


  2. HerbDoc says:

    I know; I know! But when you’ve spent 10 years digging the darn stuff out and it’s still coming back, you’ll realize it wasn’t worth the few weeks of beauty! I still like the look too of it so I purchased silk ones to add to my wreaths and arrangements.


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