Deciduous twining shrubs; branchlets glabrous, gray- brown or brown, with sparse and inconspicuous lenticels; axillary buds small, ovate to elliptic, 1-3 mm. Petiole slender, 1-2 cm; leaf blade generally broadly ovate, suborbicular, or rectangular-elliptic, 5-13 × 3-9 cm, glabrous or abaxially sparsely pubescent on veins, base broadly cuneate to obtuse-orbicular, margin serrate, apex broadly rounded, muriculate, or shortly acuminate; secondary veins 3-5 pairs. Cymes axillary, sometimes terminal, 1-3 cm, 1-7-flowered; pedicels jointed below middle or nearly to base. Male flowers: sepals obtuse-triangular; petals obovate-elliptic to rectangular, 3-4 × 2-2.5 mm; disk shallowly cupuliform, lobe shallow, apex rounded-obtuse; stamens 2-3 mm. Female flowers: corolla relatively shorter than that of male flower; disk slightly thick, carnose; staminodes very short; ovary approximately globose; styles ca. 1.5 mm; stigma deeply 3-lobed, lobe apex shallowly 2-lobed. Capsule approximately globose, 8-13 mm wide, yellow, 3-valved. Seeds elliptic, slightly flat, 4-5 × 2.5-3 mm, reddish brown; aril orange-red. Fl. May-Jun, fr. Jul-Oct.
Vines 40+ m. Leaves: blade suborbiculate to broadly oblong-obovate or ovate-orbiculate, 4–6 × 3–5 cm, aestivation conduplicate. Inflorescences axillary, cymes, 1–2 cm. Staminate flowers: pollen white. Capsules yellow when mature, globose, 7–10 mm diam., glabrous. Seeds orange, ellipsoid, 6 mm. 2n = 46.
"Much like no. 1 [Celastrus scandens L.]; lvs suborbicular to broadly oblong- obovate; fls few in small axillary cymes much shorter than the subtending lvs; 2n=46. Native of e. Asia, established as an escape in open woods and thickets here and there from Conn. s."