[adj. bit-er-sweet, bit-er-sweet; n. bit-er-sweet]
bittersweet, name for two unrelated plants, belonging to different families, both fall-fruiting woody vines sometimes cultivated for their decorative scarlet berries. One, called also woody nightshade (Solanum dulcamara), is an Old World plant now naturalized in North America, belonging to the family Solanaceae (nightshade family). The twigs and stems are occasionally used medicinally for a narcotic poison similar to belladonna. The more popular bittersweet (Celastrus scandens), a plant of the family Celastraceae (staff tree family), grows in thickets from Maine to North Carolina and W to Nebraska. Its berry is surrounded by an orange-yellow capsule. Both bittersweets are classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida. S. dulcamara belongs to the order Polemoniales, family Solanaceae. C. scandens belongs to the order Celastrales, family Celastraceae.

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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Bittersweet refers to a combination of the standard tastes of sweetness and bitterness, and is often used as a metaphor for experiences which have elements of both happiness and sadness.

The term may also refer to:



  • Bittersweet, a London based acoustic / indie band
  • , an electronic band.
  • , indie rock band from malaysia

A number of songs and albums:

Film and television

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