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Chinese Honeysuckle Lonicera japonica

Phonetic Spelling
loh-NIS-er-a juh-PON-ih-kuh
This plant has medium severity poison characteristics.
See below
This plant is an invasive species in North Carolina
Description

Japanese Honeysuckle is a deciduous to semi-evergreen  (in the south), naturalized, twining and rampant vine that is difficult to control and grows between 16-29 1/2'. It is capable of growing over plants and smothering them. It can displace native species by outcompeting native plants for light, space, water, and nutrients. It can be both a twining, climbing vine or prostrate and trailing groundcover, spreading both by rhizomes and above-ground runners, as well as wide dispersal of the seeds by birds and small mammals that eat the berries.

Remove where possible and keep it away from landscape plants. It flowers in the late spring to fall and is very fragrant. It has dark green foliage, and the first leaves of the season exhibit a lobed condition. It is tolerant of wet conditions and is a rapid and invasive grower.

 NC State Weed Specialist Classified as Highly Invasive.

The edible flowers are sweet.  Do not use flowers from other types of honeysuckle. Ingestion of the berries in large quantities is reported to cause sickness that may lead to a coma.

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Aureorecticulata'
    Yellow netted pattern on leaves
  • 'Hall's Prolific'
    Flowers rapidly change to yellow after opening
  • 'Michell's Rose'
  • 'Purpurea'
    Purple-tinted deep green foliage
'Aureorecticulata', 'Hall's Prolific', 'Michell's Rose', 'Purpurea'
Tags:
#bees#fragrant#hummingbirds#white#deciduous#invasive#poisonous#fragrant flowers#drought tolerant#foliage#white flowers#semi-evergreen#dark green#weedy#edible flowers#fall interest#rabbit resistant#high maintenance#black walnut#erosion control#fast growing#creeping#spreading#poisonous berries#vines#deer browsing plant#rhizomes#thickets#runners#groundcover#spring interest#edible garden#fantz#perennial weed#songbirds
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Aureorecticulata'
    Yellow netted pattern on leaves
  • 'Hall's Prolific'
    Flowers rapidly change to yellow after opening
  • 'Michell's Rose'
  • 'Purpurea'
    Purple-tinted deep green foliage
'Aureorecticulata', 'Hall's Prolific', 'Michell's Rose', 'Purpurea'
Tags:
#bees#fragrant#hummingbirds#white#deciduous#invasive#poisonous#fragrant flowers#drought tolerant#foliage#white flowers#semi-evergreen#dark green#weedy#edible flowers#fall interest#rabbit resistant#high maintenance#black walnut#erosion control#fast growing#creeping#spreading#poisonous berries#vines#deer browsing plant#rhizomes#thickets#runners#groundcover#spring interest#edible garden#fantz#perennial weed#songbirds
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Lonicera
    Species:
    japonica
    Family:
    Caprifoliaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The flowers are used in China as a folk remedy for snakebites.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Layering
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Native to Japan, Korea, Manchuria and China.
    Wildlife Value:
    Birds and rabbits consume the fruits and disperse the seed. Semi-evergreen foliage is a source of winter forage for white-tailed deer.
    Play Value:
    Easy to Grow
    Fragrance
    Wildlife Cover/Habitat
    Wildlife Food Source
    Climbing Method:
    Twining
    Edibility:
    Nectar can be sucked from flowers without harm. Flowers are an ingredient in some Chinese dishes.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 16 ft. 0 in. - 29 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Ground Cover
    Poisonous
    Vine
    Weed
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Deciduous
    Semi-evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Climbing
    Creeping
    Multi-stemmed
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Fruits are rounded berries, to 7 mm, green, then red and ripening to blue-black. A berry contains several seeds that are dark gray-brown and less than 1/8 inch long. One side of each seed is 3-ridged while the other is either flat or concave.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Irregular
    Trumpet
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    fused petals
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    White, fragrant flowers that fade to a creamy yellow and bloom for most of the summer. They are fragrant, 1-1.5" in size, and are borne in peduncled pairs in axils. The 2-lipped flowers are comprised of 5 petals united into a 1- to 2-inch-long tube.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Deciduous
    Semi-evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Purple/Lavender
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Oblong
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are opposite, simple ovate to oblong-ovate, and entire. They have lobed margins and are finely pubescent on both sides in the juvenile stage.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Brown
    Surface/Attachment:
    Peeling
    Bark Description:
    Brownish bark that peels in long strips.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Younger stems are reddish, fuzzy or slightly pubescent. Older stems are hollow.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Slope/Bank
    Vertical Spaces
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Barrier
    Screen/Privacy
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Moths
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Black Walnut
    Deer
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Poor Soil
    Salt
    Problems:
    Invasive Species
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Children
    Weedy
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Medium
    Poison Symptoms:
    Vomiting, diarrhea, pupil dilation, cold sweat, rapid heartbeat, respiratory failure, convulsions, and coma. TOXIC ONLY IF LARGE QUANTITIES EATEN.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Vine with saponic and cyanogenic glycosides; fruits with carotenoids.
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Fruits