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Black jetbead (Rhodotypos scandens)

Black jetbead Synonyms: Rhodotypos tetrapetalus

Common Names: Jetbead

Description: Although jetbead is a member of Rosaceae, its leaves are opposite, rather than alternate.

Habit: Open, arching shrub ranging in height from 1-2 m (3-6 ft) in height and 1.2-2.7 m (4-9 ft) in width.

Leaves: Simple, opposite, bright green in color, 5-10 cm (2.25-4 in) long, doubly toothed margins, rough texture on the leaf surface, resemble raspberry leaflets, emerge early in spring, retained until late fall.

Stems: Arching, loosely branched.

Flowers: White in color, four-petaled, occurring singly at branch tips, occasional flowers later in season; blooms in late April or early May.

Fruit and seeds: Fruits are black, hard and ovoid, 1 cm (0.3 in) long; clustered at branch tips, hanging below leaves; persist over winter.

Habitat: Native to China and Japan; escaped ornamental capable of invading forests; prefers sunny, dry, well-drained sites but thrives in shade and also in harsh urban conditions.

Reproduction: By seed, possibly bird-dispersed.

Similar species: Resembles other opposite leaved shrubs slightly including honeysuckle and privet but form more open and arching, leaves toothed and fruits clustered at stem tips, rather than along branches.

Monitoring and rapid response: Monitor woodland edges and along paths; jetbead is most visible while its white flowers with four petals are blooming in spring. Pull seedlings and hand dig small plants; for large infestations, cut shrubs to the ground in fall or winter; little information is available on this species but applying herbicide to cut stems is likely to enhance control efforts. As this species has a limited distribution in Michigan, it is important to document new occurrences. Please obtain flowering or fruiting specimens and submit to: Anton Reznicek, Curator (Vascular Plants), University of Michigan Herbarium, 3600 Varsity Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48108-2287.

Credits: The Michigan Natural Features Inventory (MNFI) has partnered with MISIN to provide the information in this fact sheet. Species images and/or information were used with permission from "A Field Identification Guide to Invasive Plants in Michigan's Natural Communities" and "A Field Guide to Invasive Plants of Aquatic and Wetland Habitats for Michigan.

Common Name:

Black jetbead

Scientific Name:

Rhodotypos scandens







USDA Symbol:


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