Bush Honeysuckles

Amur, Morrow, and Tatarian Honeysuckle - Lonicera maackii, L. morrowii, and L. tatarica

General Description
These are upright, deciduous shrubs growing 6 to 15 feet. Leaves grow opposite along the stem and are 1 to 2½ inches long. Bush honeysuckles inhabit woodlands, abandoned fields, roadsides, and marsh edges.

Bush honeysuckle species can be distinguished from each other by their leaves and flowers. Amur honeysuckle has dark green leaves ending in a sharp point at the tip. The underside of the leaf has hair along the veins. White to pink, paired flowers turn yellow with age. Flower stems are short (2 to 4 mm) and pubescent. Morrow honeysuckle has oval, egg-shaped leaves with hair on the underside. White, paired flowers turn yellow with age. Flower stems are long (10 to 12 mm) and pubescent. Tatarian honeysuckle has oval, egg-shaped leaves lacking hair on the underside. Flowers are pale pink. Flower stems are long (10 to 15 mm) and lack hair.

These shrubs came from China, Korea, and Japan and were introduced into the United States in 1846 as ornamentals.

How It Spreads
Prolific fruits are highly attractive to birds. Abundant seeds are eaten by birds and widely dispersed.

Control Methods
From mid-April through October, less dense populations can be pulled as long all roots are removed. Any roots left in the ground will likely re-sprout. Herbicides such as glyphosate are the most effective control for large bush honeysuckle populations. When no other desirable species are nearby, spray foliage directly. Otherwise, cut the honeysuckle and apply herbicide to the stumps.

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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