The Japanese Honeysuckle

Invasive Species : by Matthew Harper

A little bit about the Japanese Honeysuckle...

it is an extremely rapidly growing plant that has been classified in North Carolina and several other countries and states as an invasive species or, "pest plant". Its scientific name is Lonicera japonica. The fruits grow off of a quickly growing vine, able to climp up about 10 meters or more. It gives off a sweet vanilla scent, meaning people like to use it as ground cover (Which is more than likely, the way it got transported into these foreign countries).

The honeysuckle was introduced to New York from parts of Eastern Asia in the 1800's, from there it escaped cultivation and its population boomed and spread all across the Eastern US. Its rapid spread along the east coast was made possible by birds carrying its seeds away and dropping them other places.

It has done much damage in NC alone. Because of the fact that it grows so extremely rapidly, it often overtakes other plants and shrubs, blocking sunlight, and essentially killing the other plants.

Management Plan

The best way to clear out plants that are already here and may be infesting your property, is by using a controlled fire, or spraying herbicides, careful to not spray it all over the place killing other plants as well. If you choose to burn them down, burn the vines in one session, and then in a few months burn the vines until they are completely gone. After this they will come back within a couple of years so you should still apply herbicides to the vines.

Works Cited

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