florida Early Detection Network


Amur honeysuckle


Lonicera maackii (Rupr.) Herder


Honeysuckle family


Lonicera maackii

Flowers on branch

Flowers on branch

Close-up of flowers

Habit (with dog for scale)

Fruits Close-up



Synonyms: None


Botanical Glossary

Lonicera maackii is a woody perennial shrub that can grow up to 5 m (16.5 ft.) in height. The oppositely arranged leaves are ovate to lance-ovate in shape and measure 3.5 to 8.5 cm (1.3-3.3 in.) long. The tips of the leaves are acuminate. The leaves are dark green above and lighter on the lower surface. The veins of the leaves are pubescent. The white flowers are found in erect pairs that are on peduncles shorter than the petioles. The flowers measure 1.5-2 cm (0.6-0.75 in.) long and are bilabiate. The flowers appear on the plant from late May to early June, which is later than the other honeysuckles. The fruit are dark red in color, spherical in shape and measure 6 mm (0.25 in.) in diameter. The fruit become ripe on the plant in the late fall. Page References Bailey 943, Gleason & Cronquist 509, Holmgren 479, Magee & Ahles 963. See reference section below for full citations.


Lonicera x bella Zabel (Bell's honeysuckle), L. morrowii Gray (Morrow's honeysuckle), L. tartarica L. (Tartarian honeysuckle), L. xylosteum L. (Dwarf honeysuckle). Lonicera spp. (Native bush honeysuckles) One way to differentiate between the invasive bush honeysuckles and the native ones is that the twigs of non-native honeysuckles all have hollow stems, while the stems of the native ones are solid.


Lonicera maackii is mainly dispersed by birds and possibly by small mammals.


Lonicera maackii is native to China, Korea and Japan. In the United States, this plant has been reported from the east coast west to Texas, Kansas, Nebraska and North Dakota. In New England, this plant is present in Connecticut and Massachusetts.


Lonicera maackii was introduced from East Asia into cultivation in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1883. It was subsequently grown in Germany, and was first introduced from Germany into North America in Ottawa, Canada in 1896. The plant first made its way into the United States in 1897 via seeds sent to the Arnold Arboretum from St. Petersburg. The seeds of this plant were later also sent from Washington D.C. to many places throughout the country, including the New York Botanical Gardens in 1898 (the purpose of sending these seeds out was to test the plant's success or failure). It was first reported as being weedy by Morton Arboretum near Chicago in 1924, but this warning seems to have gone unnoticed. Escape from garden plantings was just one of the ways this plant made its way out onto the landscape. The USDA Soil Conservation Service encouraged the planting of Lonicera maackii from the 1960s to 1984 for soil stabilization and food and cover for wildlife.


Abandoned Field, Early Successional Forest, Edge, Floodplain Forest, Open Disturbed Area, Pasture, Planted Forest, Roadside, Utility Right-of-Way, Vacant Lot, Yard or Garden. Lonicera maackii can tolerate full sun to partial shade conditions. It can be found as an early successional plant or in mixed forests. Though it grows on many soil types, it grows best in calcareous situations.


Lonicera maackii can form large stands that prevent native shrubs and herbaceous understory plants from growing. The fruits persist on the branches into the winter, when birds feed on them. In the spring, Lonicera maackii is one of the first plants to leaf out, giving it a competitive advantage. This shrub can bear fruit when it is as young as 3 to 5 years old. Though Lonicera maackii has not yet become a major problem in New England, it is very troublesome in the southern and midwestern parts of the country.


Virginia Native Plant Society

Plant Conservation Alliance fact sheet Includes management information.

Illinois Natural History Survey General description and management guidelines


Documentation required: A photograph or mounted snippet of the branch with leaves, flowers or fruits. Best time for documentation: Late spring, summer, fall.


Integrated Taxonomic Information System Taxonomic information

The PLANTS Database General information and a map

Plant Conservation Alliance Fact sheet on the bush honeysuckles.

Virginia Native Plant Society Fact sheet on the bush honeysuckles.

University of Connecticut Plants Database General information and many photographs

Ohio Perennial and Biennial Weed Guide Pictures and descriptive information on L. maackii, L. morrowii and L. tartarica.

Virginia Tech Dendrology Description and photographs


Bailey, L. H. 1949. Manual of Cultivated Plants. Macmillan, New York.

Deering, R.H., J.L. Vankat. Jan 1999. Forest colonization and developmental growth of the invasive shrub Lonicera maackii. American Midland Naturalist 141 (1): 43-50.

Dirr, M.A. 1998. Manual of Woody Landscape Plants. 5th ed. Stipes Publishing, Champaign, Illinois.

Fire Conference 2000. Proceedings of the Invasive Species Workshop: The Role of Fire in the Control and Spread of Invasive Species. The First National Congress on Fire Ecology, Prevention, and Management. Tall Timbers Research Station, Miscellaneous Publication No. 11.

Gleason H.A. and A.C. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of the Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. 2nd ed. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York.

Gould, A.M.A., D.L. Gorchov. Jul 2000. Effects of the exotic invasive shrub Lonicera maackii on the survival and fecundity of three species of native annuals. American Midland Naturalist 144 (1): 36-50.

Hidayati, S.N., J.M. Baskin, C.C. Baskin. Dec 2000. Dormancy-breaking and germination requirements of seeds of four Lonicera species (Caprifoliaceae) with underdeveloped spatulate embryos. Seed Science Research 10 (4): 459-469.

Holmgren N.H. 1998. Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist's Manual. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York.

Hutchinson, T.F., J.L. Vankat. Apr 1998. Landscape structure and spread of the exotic shrub Lonicera maackii (Amur honeysuckle) in southwestern Ohio forests. American Midland Naturalist 139 (2): 383-390.

Hutchinson, T.F. and J.L. Vankat. 1997. Invasibility and effects of Amur honeysuckle in southwestern Ohio forests. Conservation Biology 11(5): 1117-1124.

Langeland, K.A. and Craddock Burks, K. (1998) Identification and biology of non-native plants in Florida's natural areas. University of Florida, Gainesville.

Luken, J.O. and N. Goessling. 1995. Seedling distribution and potential persistence of the exotic shrub Lonicera maackii in fragmented forests. American Midland Naturalist 133(1): 124-130.

Luken, J.O., L.M. Kuddes, T.C. Tholemeier. 1997. Response of understory species to gap formation and soil disturbance in Lonicera maackii thickets. Restoration Ecology 5 (3): 229-235.

Luken, J.O. and D.T. Mattimiro. 1991. Habitat-specific resilience of the invasive shrub Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii) during repeated clipping. Ecological Applications 1(1): 104-109.

Luken, J.O. and J.W. Thieret. 1995. Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii; Caprifoliaceae): its ascent, decline, and fall. Sida. 16(3): 479-503.

Luken, J.O. and J.W. Thieret. 1997. Amur honeysuckle, its fall from grace. Arnoldia 57(3): 2-12.

Luken, J.O. 1996. Lonicera maackii, L. morrowii, L. tartarica, p.60-61. In Randall, J.M. and J. Marinelli. [eds.]. Invasive Plants: Weeds of the Global Garden. Brooklyn Botanic Garden Inc., New York.

Luken, J.O. 1988. Population structure and biomass allocation of the naturalized shrub Lonicera maackii (Rupr.) Maxim. In forest and open habitats. American Midland Naturalist 119(2): 258-267

Magee D.W and H.E. Ahles. 1999. Flora of the Northeast. University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst.

Nyboer, R. 1992. Vegetation management guideline: Bush honeysuckles: Tatarian, Morrow's, belle, and amur honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica L., Lonicera morrowii Gray, Lonicera X bella Zabel, and Lonicera maackii (Rupr.) Maxim. Natural Areas Journal 12(4): 218-219.

Rehder, A. 1940. Manual of Cultivated Trees and Shrubs, 2nd ed. MacMillan Publishing Company, New York.

Sasek, T.W. and Strain, B.R. (1991) Effects of CO2 enrichment on the growth and morphology of a native and an introduced honeysuckle vine. American Journal of Botany 78, 69-75.

Schierenbeck, K.A., R.N. Mack, R.R. Sharitz. Sep 1994. Effects of herbivory on growth and biomass allocation in native and introduced species of Lonicera. Ecology 75 (6): 1661-1672.

Schweitzer, J.A., K.C. Larson. Jan-Mar 1999. Greater morphological plasticity of exotic honeysuckle species may make them better invaders than native species. Journal of The Torrey Botanical Society 126 (1): 15-23.

USDA, NRCS. 2001. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.1. (http://plants.usda.gov). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.