When I think of some of the most rustic and elegant fall gifts from nature, bittersweet always comes to mind. I first fell in love with bittersweet back in the 90’s when I started seeing it used in primitive and country decor.
For many years I used faux bittersweet in my fall decorating, but for the past couple of years I have been lucky enough to find some beautiful dried bittersweet vine at one of my favorite local vintage shops. Last week I purchased a few bittersweet cuttings to tuck into vignettes around the house. It is just so vibrant and beautiful!
Here’s a bit of information about American Bittersweet Vine from Gardening Know How:
American bittersweet is a vigorous deciduous, perennial vine that grows 15 to 20 feet (4.5 to 6 m.) tall. It is native to central and eastern North America. They produce yellowish-green flowers that bloom in spring, but the flowers are plain and uninteresting compared to the berries that follow. As the flowers fade, orange-yellow capsules appear.
In late fall and winter, the capsules open at the ends to display the bright red berries inside. The berries remain on the plant well into winter, brightening winter landscapes and attracting birds and other wildlife. The berries are poisonous to humans if eaten, however, so practice caution when planting around homes with small children. (The vine can be invasive.)
Recently I shared a Vintage French Fall Vignette with Bittersweet in our dining room that I am loving right now.
The dried bittersweet looks so pretty with dried hydrangeas from my Annabelle Hydrangea bush and some orange and pink dried roses.
I am big fan of combining rustic and romantic elements in vignettes.
It doesn’t take a lot of bittersweet to make a big impact. Here I just tucked a few cuttings around some vintage treasures on top of a vintage chest in our dining room. I adore simple, rustic, and elegant fall decor!
How to Decorate with Bittersweet for Fall
Here are some more gorgeous ideas for decorating with bittersweet for fall.
Bittersweet Wreaths and Door Decor
I remember when I first saw this photo several years ago and thinking it was one of the most beautiful fall wreaths I had ever seen. I would love to forage enough wild bittersweet to make a huge wreath like Martha’s!
It can be tricky to form bittersweet vine into a wreath since the wood is stiff and some of the branches are really straight. Using a grapevine wreath as a base and tucking the vines in around the wreath is a simpler way to create a bittersweet wreath.
I personally love the natural, wild and rambling look!
Bittersweet Wreath~ Etsy
Using Bittersweet in Fall Porch and Garden Displays
Home is Where the Boat Is
I think Bittersweet looks fabulous in fall porch and garden displays.
Using Bittersweet in Vignettes and Tablescapes
Bittersweet looks so pretty draped around chippy old treasures or tucked in boxes, bottles, baskets or buckets.
Bittersweet in Fall Tablescapes and Vignettes
I also love the idea of using the bittersweet on our chandelier in the dining room and along the center of our farm table.
Bittersweet just looks so beautiful in dough bowl displays. It can have a very rustic, primitive look or it can be elegant and classic depending on the other elements in the tablescape.
Bittersweet in urns…be still my French- fall-loving heart!
Bittersweet isn’t always easy to find in shops or in nature and as a result it can be somewhat expensive when you do find it. This week our family is taking a day trip back to Lexington, KY for some shopping and fall activities, so whoooo knows? Maybe I will luck into some more bittersweet for a bargain!
The Bittersweet Truth About Bittersweet
The bittersweet truth about bittersweet it that it is messy! The little yellow flowers and berries do drop off and the dried vine is very fragile so keep that in mind if you are using it on your table. As are reminder, it is also poisonous to humans so take precautions around children. If you love the look of bittersweet but have had a hard time finding it or if you just don’t want to deal with the mess of shedding berries, there are some realistic faux bittersweet vines and floral picks to choose from these days. I have included some suggestions at the end of this post.
I really enjoyed putting together this post and finding all of these rustic and elegant fall decorating ideas using bittersweet! I certainly hope to find more especially before Thanksgiving.
Update: I already found some more bittersweet at the cutest little primitives shop in Midway, KY (near Lexington), just in time for my Embracing Fall Home Tour!
Are you a fan of using bittersweet in fall decorating? I love hearing from you, dear readers!
Thanks for visiting today!
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