FULL SCIENTIFIC NAME
Lonicera morrowii Gray
FAMILY NAME COMMON
FAMILY SCIENTIFIC NAME
Lonicera morrowii is a woody, perennial shrub that reaches 2.5 m (8 ft.) in height. The stems of this shrub are hollow. The oppositely arranged leaves are oblong to narrowly elliptic in shape and measure 2.5-6.3 cm (1-2.5 in.) long. The apexes of the leaves are usually obtuse, but can be somewhat acute. The leaves are grayish and tomentose on their lower surface. The peduncles are 5-15 mm (0.2-0.6 in.) in length and very hairy. The bractlets, sepals and corolla are also pubescent. The bracteoles are more than half as long as the ovary when the flower is fully open. The paired flowers of Lonicera morrowii measure 1.25 cm (0.5 in.) long and are usually white, fading to yellow with age. The flowers appear on this plant from late May to early June. The fruits are red spherical berries measuring 6 mm (0.25 in.) in diameter, and like the flowers they are borne in pairs. These berries appear in mid-summer and are usually gone in the fall. Page References Bailey 943, Fernald 1333, Gleason & Cronquist 509, Holmgren 479, Magee & Ahles 963, Newcomb 294. See reference section below for full citations.
Lonicera x bella Zabel (Bell's honeysuckle), L. tartarica. L (Tartarian honeysuckle), L. maackii (Rupr.) Herder (Amur 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 invasive honeysuckles all have hollow stems, while the the stems of the native ones are solid.
The seeds of Lonicera morrowii are mainly dispersed by birds which eat the fruits.
Lonicera morrowii is native to Japan. In the United States it has been reported from the east coast, south to South Carolina and west to Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri and Arkansas, as well as Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico. In New England it has been reported from all states.
HISTORY OF INTRODUCTION IN NEW ENGLAND
Lonicera morrowii was discovered on a trip by Dr. James Morrow in Japan from 1862 to 1864. The plants were sent to Asa Gray in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who consequently named the plant after its collector. Sometime after this, around 1875, the plant was introduced into cultivation. It is likely that the plant was directly introduced into New England through plantings.
HABITATS IN NEW ENGLAND
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 morrowii can be found in a wide variety of habitats ranging from fields to open forests. It prefers mesic soils, but grows well in dry, sandy soils in calcareous areas.
Lonicera morrowii can form thickets that prevent other native plants from getting established. It hybridizes with L. tatarica to form the hybrid L. x bella, which is also extremely invasive. It can then subsequently backcross with the hybrid forming a "hybrid swarm." It is easily spread by birds because of its persistent fruits that ripen in mid-summer.
The Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group Invasive Plant Management Guide
Illinois Natural History Survey General description and management guidelines.
Plant Conservation Alliance Fact sheet with management information
Documentation required: Mounted snippet of the branch with flowers. Best time for documentation: Spring
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.
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Description and control information
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.
Barnes, W.J. and G. Cottam. 1974. Some autecological studies of the Lonicera x bella complex. Ecology 55: 40-50.
Dirr, M.A. 1998. Manual of Woody Landscape Plants. 5th ed. Stipes Publishing, Champaign, Illinois.
Fernald, M.L. 1950. Gray's Manual of Botany 8th ed. American Book Co., Boston.
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.
Holmgren N.H. 1998. Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist's Manual. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York.
Magee D.W and H.E. Ahles. 1999. Flora of the Northeast. University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst.
Newcomb N. 1977. Newcomb's Wildflower Guide. Little Brown, Boston.
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.
USDA, NRCS. 2001. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.1. (http://plants.usda.gov). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.