Stem, - Woody, twining. Leaves. - Alternate, oblong, finely toothed, pointed. Flowers, - Small, greenish, or cream-color, in raceme-like clusters, appearing in June. Pod. - Orange-colored, globular, and berry-like, curling back in three divisions when ripe so as to display the scarlet covering of the seeds within.
The small flowers of the bitter-sweet, which appear in June, rarely attract attention. But in October no lover of color can fail to admire the deep orange pods which at last curl back so as advantageously to display the brilliant scarlet covering of the seeds. Perhaps we have no fruit which illuminates more vividly the roadside thicket of late autumn; or touches with greater warmth those tumbled, overgrown walls which are so picturesque a feature in parts of the country, and do in a small way for our quiet landscapes what vine-covered ruins accomplish for the scenery of the Old World.