Celastrus orbiculatus Thunb.
Celastrus orbiculatus is a large liana (to 9 or 12 meters high) that is native to China and Japan. It is naturalized in the eastern United States, including Arkansas. It is probably more common in the northern portions of the state. This species is similar to the native American bittersweet (Celastrus scandens), but can be differentiated by its axillary cymose inflorescences of only a few flowers, whereas C. scandens has many flowered terminal panicles (thyrses). Celastrus orbiculatus can be invasive.
Figures for Celastrus orbiculatus:
F. stem showing pointed axillary bud;
J-K. immature fruits;
L-M. mature fruits;
N. young bark;
O. plant and habit (notice vines of C. orbiculatus have essentially enveloped a power line pole).