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Minnesota on guard for invasive Oriental bittersweet

It’s a beautiful addition to a fall wreath, but the Minnesota Department of Agriculture is telling state decorators and retailers to avoid using the vibrant Oriental bittersweet, a woody vine that can strangle trees and crowd out native plants, ECM Publishing’s Hometownsite reports.

Oriental bittersweet is native to Eastern Asia, Korea, China and Japan and was originally introduced to the U.S. in the 1860s as an ornamental plant. It’s often confused with American bittersweet, which is becoming less common, according to the National Park Service. Learn more about the plant at the NPS site.

There have been 10 reports of the species in Minnesota (among more than 4,000 in North America), according to a Minnesota Department of Agriculture map.

It was first reported in Minnesota in 2010, KARE 11 reports:

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April 23, 2014