Scientific Name: Lonicera japonica

Common Name: Japanese honeysuckle

Other Common Names: Chinese honeysuckle

Synonyms: Nintooa japonica

Habit: Evergreen or semi-evergreen woody vine that sprouts from woody rhizomes and persistent brown vines in the spring. Plants are an exotic invasive species that overwhelms native flora in many sites.

Leaves: Leaves have smooth margins, predominately, but some young leaves are lobed. Oblong shaped leaves are usually 4 to 6.5 cm long and 2 to 3.5 cm wide. They may have rounded tips but are usually pointed, and are smooth to hairy with hairy on both surfaces. Opposite, simple, ovate to oval, entire margin, sometimes lobed, semi-evergreen to light green.

Identifying Characteristics: Vine with stems that root at the nodes. Older stems are light tan and may be scaly. The sweet smell of Japanese Honeysuckle is one of its most distinguishing characteristics.

Flower Seed Head: Flowers have two main lips that comprise five lobes at the end of a slender tube (2 to 3 cm long). Flowers are white, light yellow, or pink and are subtended by two small leaves (bracts). Flowers are produced from April to June in most locations.

Seed Fruit: Black glossy berries are produced from August to March. Berries are spherical or nearly so and about 6 mm in diameter and borne on stalks 1 to 3 cm long.

Where Found: Occurs as dense infestations along highway rights-of-ways and forest edges. Common along fence rows, ditches, and low lying forest areas. May completely crowd out native vegetation.

  • Life cycle: perennial

  • Milky sap: Not Present

  • Plant type: Vine

  • Thorns: Not Present

  • Plant family: Caprifoliaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: opposite

  • Leaf shape: spatulate

  • Ochrea: Not Present

  • Leaf margin: entire

  • Stem hairs: has hairs

  • Flower color: yellow; white

  • Growth habit: vine

  • Stem: round or oval

  • Leaf structure: simple

  • Leaf hairs: no hairs; has hairs

  • Flower diameter: pencil; dime

  • Flower symmetry: not symmetrical

  • Root structure: fibrous

  • Leaf stalk: none; shorter than leaf