Lonicera species


  • Site: grows best in full sun, but can be shade-tolerant
  • Plant community: Located on the edges of park trails along with other native and invasive plants
  • Invasive traits: produces abundant seeds which are dispersed by birds and other wildlife. It also spreads by sprouting from its roots. This plant species can form very dense populations that can outcompete and suppress the growth of native plant species. L. maackii leafs out very early in spring, giving it a competitive advantage over native plants. L. japonica leaves are semi-evergreen allowing the plant to grow longer into the winter and giving it a competitive advantage over native vegetation. It shades out understory growth preventing the success of native understory plants and tree seedlings. Its vigorous vine growth covers native trees; the weight of the vine growth can bring down weak trees. By decreasing light availability to the understory, these invasive honeysuckles can alter habitats by depleting soil moisture and nutrients.
  • Other: Native honeysuckles have solid stems while invasive honeysuckles have hollow stems. The invasive honeysuckle berries do not contain the amount of fat and nutrients present in native honeysuckle berries; eating large amounts of the less nutritious invasive berries rather than native berries can have negative impacts on migrating birds.