The Bugwood Network

Bush Honeysuckles
Amur honeysuckle, Lonicera maackii (Rupr.) Herder
Morrow’s honeysuckle, L. morrowii Gray
Tatarian honeysuckle, L. tatarica L.
Sweet-breath-of-spring, L. fragrantissima Lindl. & Paxton

International Code - LOMA6, LOMO2, LOTA, LOFR
FIA survey code - 2105


Miller, James H. 2003. Nonnative invasive plants of southern forests: a field guide for identification and control. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS–62. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 93 p.

acrobat version

Plant. Tardily deciduous, upright, arching-branched shrubs. Amur to 30 feet (9 m) in height and spindly in forests, Morrow’s to 6.5 feet (2 m) in height, and Tatarian and sweet-breath-of-spring to 10 feet (3 m) in height. Much branched and arching in openings, multiple stemmed, dark-green opposite leaves, showy white to pink or yellow flowers, and abundant orange to red berries.

Stem. Opposite branched, light tan with braided-strand appearance. Bark often flaking. Older branches hollow.

Leaves. Opposite in two rows, ovate to oblong with rounded to subcordate bases, 1.2 to 4 inches (3 to 10 cm) long. Persistent into winter. Margins entire. Amur tapering to a long slender tip; others with short pointed tips. Morrow’s with wrinkled upper surface and soft-hairy lower surface, others with hairless leaves. Petioles 0.1 to 0.4 inch (2.5 to 10 mm) long.

Flowers. February to June. Axillary, bracted short-stemmed clusters, each with one to several white to yellow (some pink to red) flowers. Petals tubular flaring to five lobes in two lips (upper lip four-lobed, lower lip single-lobed). Five extended stamen. Fragrant.

Fruit and seeds. August to February. Abundant spherical, glossy berries paired in leaf axils, each 0.2 to 0.5 inch (6 to 12 mm). Green becoming pink and ripening to red (sometimes yellow or orange). Usually persistent into winter.

Ecology. Often forms dense thickets in open forests, forest edges, abandoned fields, pastures, roadsides, and other open upland habitats. Relatively shade tolerant. Colonize by root sprouts and spread by abundant bird- and other animal-dispersed seeds. Seeds long-lived in the soil.

Resemble the woody vine, Japanese honeysuckle, L. japonica Thunb, as far as leaves and flowers.

History and use. All introduced from Asia in the 1700s and 1800s. Mistakenly used as ornamentals and wildlife plants.


Amur honeysuckle
November
Photo by Warner Park


Amur honeysuckle
December
Photo by J. Miller



Sweet Breath of Spring
September
Photo by J. Miller


Amur honeysuckle
December
Photo by J. Miller


Amur honeysuckle
Spring
Photo by Warner Park


Sweet Breath of Spring
September
Photo by J. Miller


Amur honeysuckle
Spring
Photo by J. Schwegman


Amur honeysuckle
December
Photo by J. Miller

Amur honeysuckle
December
Photo by J. Miller

Tatarian honeysuckle
May
Photo by P. Breen

States with suspected infestations are shown in gray.


Recommended control procedures:

  • Thoroughly wet all leaves with glyphosate herbicide as a 2-percent solution in water (8 ounces per 3-gallon mix) with a surfactant (August to October). Or, apply Garlon 4 as a 20-percent solution in commercially available basal oil, diesel fuel, or kerosene (2.5 quarts per 3-gallon mix) with a penetrant (check with herbicide distributor) to young bark as a basal spray.
  • For stems too tall for foliar sprays, cut large stems and immediately treat the stumps with one of the following herbicides in water with a surfactant: Arsenal AC* as a 10-percent solution (1 quart per 3-gallon mix) or a glyphosate herbicide as a 20-percent solution (2.5 quarts per 3-gallon mix).

*   Nontarget plants may be killed or injured by root uptake.


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USDA Forest ServiceUSDA APHIS PPQThe Bugwood Network University of Georgia Bargeron, C.T., D.J. Moorhead, G.K. Douce, R.C. Reardon & A.E. Miller
(Tech. Coordinators). 2003. Invasive Plants of the Eastern U.S.:
Identification and Control. USDA Forest Service - Forest Health
Technology Enterprise Team. Morgantown, WV USA. FHTET-2003-08.