Staff vine, staff trees, bittersweet
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Celastrus (Kelastros, ancient Greek name). Celastraceae. Woody plants grown chiefly for their brightly colored fruit; some also for their handsome foliage.
Shrubs, usually climbing, with alternate, petioled, usually deciduous and serrate glabrous lvs.: fls. polygamous, 5-merous, inconspicuous, greenish white, in axillary or terminal panicles or racemes; calyx 5-parted; petals small, oblong-ovate; disk entire or crenate; stamens short; ovary superior; style short with 3-lobed stigma: fr. a caps, dehiscent into 3 valves, each containing 1 or 2 seeds, inclosed in a fleshy crimson aril. —More than 30 species in S. and E. Asia, Austral, and Amer. The species with perfect fls. in axillary cymes and with evergreen lvs., being rigid and often spiny shrubs, are now included under Gymnosporia, which see.
These shrubs are hardy and ornamental, very effective with their bright-colored fruit remaining usually throughout the winter; C. angulatus is also worth growing for its large handsome foliage. They are very valuable for covering trelliswork, trees or rocks and walls: they grow in almost any soil and situation, and as well in shaded as in sunny positions. Propagated by seeds, sown in fall or stratified, and by root-cuttings or layers; suckers are freely produced, and become sometimes a nuisance in nurseries; they also can be increased by cuttings of mature and of soft wood.
C. flagellaris, Rupr. Allied to C. orbiculatus. Branches with persistent spiny stipules, sometimes rooting: lvs. ovate or oval, small, finely serrulate, slender-petioled: fr. axillary, small. N. China, Korea, Japan. Quite hardy, but not so handsome as C. orbiculatus.—C. nutans, Hort. Reasoner, not Roxbg.-Quisqualis indica.—C. Orixa, Sieb. & Zucc. (syn. Orixa japonica).
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Pests and diseases
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About 30, includingwp:
Celastrus angulatus - Chinese Staff Vine
Celastrus australis - Australian Staff Vine
Celastrus dispermus - Orange Boxwood
Celastrus paniculatus - Peng
Celastrus pyracanthus - South African Staff Vine
Celastrus orbiculatus - Oriental Staff Vine
Celastrus scandens - American Staff Vine
- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963