COMMON NAME

Tatarian honeysuckle


FULL SCIENTIFIC NAME

Lonicera tatarica L.


FAMILY NAME COMMON

Honeysuckle family


FAMILY SCIENTIFIC NAME

Lonicera tatarica


IMAGES


Light Pink Flower Form

Rose Color Flower Form

Flowers and leaves

NOMENCLATURE/SYNONYMS

Synonyms: None


DESCRIPTION

Botanical Glossary

Lonicera tatarica is a woody perennial shrub that grows to 3 m (10 ft.) in height. The stems of this plant are hollow. The oppositely arranged leaves are ovate to oblong in shape and measure 3-6 cm (1-2.25 in.) long. The bases of the leaves are subcordate to truncate in shape. The lower surface of the leaves and the young twigs are glabrous, or nearly so. The flowers are pink to almost red (rarely white) in color. The shape of the flower is irregularly and deeply 5-lobed. The flowers measure 2-2.5 cm (0.75-1 in.) long and are borne in pairs on axillary peduncles. The corolla is glabrous on its outer surface. The flowers appear from late May to June. The paired fruits of Lonicera tatarica are red (rarely yellow) and spherical in shape, measuring 6 mm (0.25 in.) in diameter. These fruit appear from mid-summer to early fall. Page References Bailey 943, Crow & Hellquist 375, Fernald 1333, Gleason & Cronquist 509, Holmgren 478, Magee & Ahles 963, Newcomb 294. See reference section below for full citations.


SIMILAR SPECIES

Lonicera bella Zabel (Bell's honeysuckle - a hybrid between L. morrowii and L. tatarica)
L. morrowii Gray (Morrow's honeysuckle)
L. maackii (Rupr.) Herder (Amur honeysuckle)
L. xylosteum L. (Dwarf honeysuckle)
Lonicera spp. (Native bush honeysuckles) Link to the key of exotic honeysuckles The key above does not include the native bush honeysuckles. One way to differentiate between the invasive bush honeysuckles and the native oness is that the invasive honeysuckles all have hollow stems, while the stems of the native ones are solid.


REPRODUCTIVE/DISPERSAL MECHANISMS

The seeds in the fruit of Lonicera tatarica are mainly dispersed by birds.


DISTRIBUTION

Lonicera tatarica is native to Central Asia and Southern Russia. In the United States it has been reported from the northeast down to Virginia and west to Montana and Nevada. It is present in all the states of New England, but it is more commonly encountered away from cultivation in the northern states.


HISTORY OF INTRODUCTION IN NEW ENGLAND

Lonicera tatarica was introduced into cultivation in North America in 1752. It was used as a popular landscape plant and most likely made its way into New England by being planted in gardens, as well as being spread by birds.


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

In its native range, Lonicera tatarica grows in a variety of habitats including forests, mountains and swamps. In the United States, this plant has shown the same adaptable tendency. It can be found along rivers, roads and in open canopy forests. It can tolerate different light regimes, but grows most profusely in full sun.


THREATS

In some cases Lonicera tatarica can form extremely dense stands where it has escaped from cultivation. These dense stands suppress the growth of other native species. In New England it seems to be less aggressive than L. morrowii and L. bella. However, the difficulty with identifying the different honeysuckles has had an impact on how well understood the impact of each individual species is on the landscape.


MANAGEMENT LINKS

Virginia Native Plant Society

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Illinois Natural History Survey
General description and management guidelines

Plant Conservation Alliance fact sheet
Includes management information.


DOCUMENTATION NEEDS

Documentation required: Herbarium specimen or mounted snippet of the branch with flowers.
Best time for documentation: Spring, summer


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Integrated Taxonomic Information System
Taxonomic information about the species

PLANTS Database
General information and 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
Descriptive and control information about the bush honeysuckles.

University of Connecticut Plants Database
General information and many photographs

Invasive Plants of Ohio
Fact sheet with information on L. maackii, L. morrowii and L. tatarica

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


REFERENCES

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

Barnes, W.J. and G. Cottam.  1974.  Some autecological studies of the Lonicera  bella complex.  Ecology 55: 40-50.

Britton, N. L. and A. Brown.  1970.  An Illustrated Flora of the Northeastern United States vol. 3.  Dover Publications Inc., New York. 

Converse, C.K. 1985. Element Stewardship Abstract for Lonicera tatarica, L. Morrowii, and L. X bella. The Nature Conservancy. Unpublished document .

Crow G.E. and C.B. Hellquist. 2000. Aquatic and Wetland Plants of Northeastern North America. Vol #1. University of Wisconsin Press, Madison.

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

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

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

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

Woods, K.D.  1993.  Effects if Invasion by Lonicera tatarica L. on herbs and tree seedlings in four New England forests.  American Midland Naturalist 130(1): 62-74.