bittersweet

bittersweet
bittersweetly, adv.bittersweetness, n.
adj. /bit'euhr sweet", bit"euhr sweet'/; n. /bit"euhr sweet'/, adj.
1. both bitter and sweet to the taste: bittersweet chocolate.
2. both pleasant and painful or regretful: a bittersweet memory.
n.
3. Also called woody nightshade. a climbing or trailing plant, Solanum dulcamara, of the nightshade family, having small, violet, star-shaped flowers with a protruding yellow center and scarlet berries.
4. Also called climbing bittersweet. any climbing plant of the genus Celastrus, bearing orange capsules opening to expose red-coated seeds, esp. C. scandens.
5. pleasure mingled with pain or regret: the bittersweet of parting.
[1350-1400; ME; see BITTER, SWEET]

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Any of several vines with colourful fruit.

The genus Celastrus (family Celastraceae) includes American bittersweet, or staff vine (C. scandens), and Oriental bittersweet (C. orbiculatus), woody vines grown as ornamentals. Oriental bittersweet is a more vigorous climber than the American species. Both types climb by twining around supports. Another bittersweet, Solanum dulcamara, belongs to the nightshade family.

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plant
 any of several vines with colourful fruit. The genus Celastrus, in the staff tree family (Celastraceae), includes the American bittersweet, or staff vine (C. scandens), and the Oriental bittersweet (C. orbiculatus), woody vines grown as ornamentals. The flowers, in whitish clusters, are followed by yellow to orange capsules, which split to reveal yellow to crimson arils enclosing the seeds. Oriental bittersweet is a more vigorous climber, reaching up to 12 metres (40 feet); the American species, up to 7.5 m, often has many sterile individuals in its population. Both types climb by twining around supports. Another bittersweet, also called nightshade (q.v.) or woody nightshade (Solanum dulcamara), belongs to the family Solanaceae. It is an herbaceous vine, up to 4.5 m long; the violet and yellow star-shaped flowers are followed by shiny green berries that gradually turn bright red.

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Universalium. 2010.

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