florida Early Detection Network


Tatarian honeysuckle


Lonicera tatarica L.


Honeysuckle family


Lonicera tatarica

Light Pink Flower Form

Rose Color Flower Form

Flowers and leaves


Synonyms: None


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.


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). 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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


Virginia Native Plant Society

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

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


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 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.