Experts Warn Against Using Invasive Plant For Holiday Decorating

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Connecticut environmental officials are warning people to be on the lookout for an invasive plant that is sometimes used in wreaths and other holiday decorations.

The woody vine known as Oriental bittersweet produces bright red berries that make it appealing for crafts. The vines climb trees and can slow or stop the growth of other trees.

Oriental bittersweet is native to China, Korea and Japan and was introduced into the U.S. in the 1860s. It is listed as invasive in Connecticut because of the damage it can cause. A state law prohibits selling or moving the vine or its seeds.

Logan Senack is the invasive plant coordinator for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. He said florists and greenhouse growers can provide alternative plants for decoration that are not considered invasive.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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