Family: Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle Family)
Duration and Habit: Perennial Vine
Tardily deciduous, upright, arching-branched shrubs 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.
Ecological Threat: Exotic bush honeysuckles can rapidly invade and overtake a site, forming a dense shrub layer that crowds and shades out native plant species. They alter habitats by decreasing light availability, by depleting soil moisture and nutrients, and possibly by releasing toxic chemicals that prevent other plant species from growing in the vicinity. Exotic bush honeysuckles may compete with native bush honeysuckles for pollinators, resulting in reduced seed set for native species. In addition, the fruits of exotic bush honeysuckles, while abundant and rich in carbohydrates, do not offer migrating birds the high-fat, nutrient-rich food sources needed for long flights, that are supplied by native plant species.
Biology & Spread: Open-grown exotic bush honeysuckles fruit prolifically and are highly attractive to birds. In the eastern United States, over twenty species of birds feed on the persistent fruits and widely disseminate seeds across the landscape. In established populations, vegetative sprouting also aids in the persistence of these exotic shrubs.
History: Introduced from Asia in the 1700s and 1800s. Mistakenly used as ornamentals and wildlife plants.
U.S. Habitat: 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.
U.S. Nativity: Introduced to U.S.
Native Origin: Temp. Asia & Europe (Germplasm Resources Information Network); NatureServe Explorer
U.S. Present: AK, CA, CO, CT, DE, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MT, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SD, UT, VA, VT, WI, WV, WY
Distribution: Amur, Tartarian, Morrow's, and pretty honeysuckle generally range from the central Great Plains to southern New England and south to Tennessee and North Carolina. The remaining species are sporadically distributed.
List All Observations of Lonicera tatarica reported by Citizen Scientists
any native plants make excellent substitutes for exotic bush honeysuckles for home landscaping and wildlife planting. In the eastern U.S., examples include spicebush (Lindera benzoin), ink-berry (Ilex glabra), gray dogwood (Cornus racemosa), northern bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica), red chokecherry (Aronia arbutifolia), and arrowwood (Viburnum dentatum). These species are readily available through commercial nurseries.
Mechanical and chemical methods are the primary means of control of exotic bush honeysuckles.USE PESTICIDES WISELY: ALWAYS READ THE ENTIRE PESTICIDE LABEL CAREFULLY, FOLLOW ALL MIXING AND APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS AND WEAR ALL RECOMMENDED PERSONAL PROTECTIVE GEAR AND CLOTHING. CONTACT YOUR STATE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOR ANY ADDITIONAL PESTICIDE USE REQUIREMENTS, RESTRICTIONS OR RECOMMENDATIONS. MENTION OF PESTICIDE PRODUCTS ON THIS WEB SITE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE ENDORSEMENT OF ANY MATERIAL.
Luken, J.O. 1990. Forest and pasture communities respond differently to cutting of exotic Amur honeysuckle. Restoration and Management Notes 8:122-123.
Nyboer, R. 1992. Vegetation management guideline: bush honeysuckles. Natural Areas Journal 12:218-219.
The Nature Conservancy. Bush Honeysuckles: Element Stewardship Abstract. In: Wildland Weeds Management & Research Program, Weeds on the Web. http://tncweeds.ucdavis.edu/esadocs/loni_spp.html
Williams, C.E. 1994. Bush honeysuckles (Lonicera spp.). Fact sheet - invasive alien plant species of Virginia. Virginia Native Plant Society and Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Richmond, VA.
APWG WeedUS Database
Miller, J.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 pp (USDA SRS).
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