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Japanese Honeysuckle Lonicera japonica


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Japanese Honeysuckle
credit: Jon Sullivan/CCSA

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Family: Caprifoliaceae, Honeysuckle view all from this family

Description This highly disruptive, invasive vine has sweet-smelling, white flowers in the axils of the leaves. The vine is deciduous, semi-evergreen, or evergreen depending on winter conditions.
Habit: introduced vine; twining or trailing; stems hairy when young, woody and hollow when mature, usually red-brown.
Height: to 18 ft (5.5 m) or more.
Leaf: opposite, glossy, ovate to broadly oblong to triangular, rounded or pointed, not clasping, usually without teeth, slightly convex, 1-5 in (2.5-12.5 cm) long, 0.6-2.4 in (1.5-6 cm) wide; lowermost pair of leaves sometimes deeply lobed.
Flower: white aging to cream or yellow, 5-parted, to 2 in (2 cm) long, with 3 upper petals, 2 lower petals, protruding stamens; held in pairs at leaf axils.
Fruit: round berry, shiny, black to dark purple-black, to 0.3 in (8 mm) diameter; sometimes persistent.

Flower April to October.

Habitat Moist to dry soil in open fields, woodlands, roadsides, fencerows, forest openings, old homesites, sunny disturbed sites; also cultivated as an ornamental.

Range Native to Asia; introduced to North America in the early 1800s; escaped and naturalized throughout southern and eastern North America, from California east to Florida, north to Maine, west to Ontario, southwest to Missouri and Nebraska.

Discussion Also known as Chinese honeysuckle. Considered weedy or invasive in many areas; prohibited, banned, or noxious in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. The dense tangling growth of this vine can strangle trees and shrubs.