Japanese honeysuckle

Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica)

Perennial, semi-evergreen, woody vine, up to 80’ in length. Young stems are brown or red and usually pubescent. Older stems are woody and hollow, with bark that peels in long strips.

Overview

Regulated areas of Japanese honeysuckle
Japanese honeysuckle is Prohibited (Red counties)

Other names for this plant include:

  • Common names: Hall's honeysuckle vine, Chinese honeysuckle
  • Scientific names: Lonicera aureoreticulata; Lonicera japonica var halliana; L. japonica halliana

Ecological threat:

  • Invades forests, prairies, fields and roadsides.
  • Shrubs and young trees can be killed by girdling; Japanese honeysuckle vines twist tightly around stems and trunks.

Classification in Wisconsin: Prohibited

Species Assessment Groups (SAG) were assembled to recommend a legal classification for each species considered for NR 40. The recommendation for Japanese honeysuckle was based upon this literature review developed by the department.

Identification

Leaves: Simple, opposite, oblong to oval, and are 1 ½ -3” long. Leaves are sometimes lobed and may be covered with fine soft hairs. Leaves persist on vine until mid-winter.

Flowers: Borne in pairs at leaf axils; tubular and very fragrant. White to pink flowers turn yellow with age. Bloom late spring to early summer.

Fruits & seeds: Small, ¼” purple-black berries are produced in fall and occur along the stems in the leaf axils. Dispersed by birds and mammals.

Roots: Produces underground rhizomes and long, aboveground stolons that develop roots where nodes contact soil.

Similar species: Native honeysuckle vines have red or orange berries, flowers at tips of stems, and connate leaves (fused to form a single leaf through which the stem grows) below flowers.

Distribution

Known county distribution of Japanese honeysuckle
Counties in WI where Japanese honeysuckle has been reported (as of July 2011). Both vouchered and unvouchered reports included.

Do you have Japanese honeysuckle in your county but it isn't shaded on the map? Send us a report.

Control

Mechanical: Pull or repeated mowing followed up by chemical control. Fire may kill seedlings and set back older plants.

Chemical: Treat foliage with glyphosate or triclopyr amine in fall when native plants are dormant. Where plants grow off the ground, cut vines just above the soil surface and treat immediately with glyphosate or triclopyr amine.

For more information on control techniques, visit the Japanese honeysuckle factsheet [exit DNR] by University of Wisconsin-Extension.

Photos

View Japanese honeysuckle pictures in our photo gallery!

Resources

Sources for content:

  • Czarapata, Elizabeth; Invasive Plants of the Upper Midwest: an illustrated guide to their identification and control. University of Wisconsin Press. 2005. Pg. 129-130
  • Bravo, Melissa. Plant Conservation Alliance Factsheet: Japanese honeysuckle [exit DNR]. Last updated June 27, 2006.
  • Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health: Invasive.org. Last updated on May 04, 2010. Japanese honeysuckle [exit DNR].

Links for More Information

Last revised: Wednesday June 05 2013