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Going out in a blaze of color

Reddish orange leaves at Millennium Pak

Some leaves along the path by the Charles River in Millennium Park this afternoon.

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and the green leaves in lower right look like bittersweet (either oriental or American, not sure).

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Voting closed 21

Tim Mc - have you (or has anyone else) seen American Bittersweet in Boston? I haven't but I'm not sure I would spot the difference except when the plants have berries. The state handbook of plants says it's absent from Suffolk County but it's been mistaken about other things (Japanese Honeysuckle is definitely here e.g.).

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Voting closed 16

I've found a ton of conflicting information on how to tell the difference, and nothing reliable-looking that indicates a clearcut way of distinguishing them. (That said, I'm not skilled in evaluating sources in this area! Do you have one you'd recommend?) The last time I tried to identify bittersweet I was in Virginia, and I was pretty sure it was oriental. I haven't tried keying it out up here.

I've also read that they hybridize, which makes everything harder.

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Voting closed 12

probably poisonous as all hell.

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Voting closed 10

Sugar maple leaves *also* turn red in the fall. :-)

But yes, Virginia creeper is not food. It's loaded with oxalic acid and calcium oxalate, which are toxic in moderate to large quantities. (Lots of foods have oxalic acid in low quantities, though, where it makes them taste pleasantly sour—but can increase the likelihood of kidney stones.)

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Voting closed 28

Not because it's red, but because these particular leaves do not look like sugar maple leaves, at all.

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Voting closed 5