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Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii)

Amur honeysuckle Common Names: Amur bush honeysuckle

Description: Common in urban areas and also occurs in rural areas where it was recommended for wildlife until its invasive traits became apparent; forms dense thickets; reduces tree and shrub regeneration, decreases overall plant diversity.

Habit: Deciduous upright to spreading shrub growing up to 5 m (12-16 ft) tall.

Leaves: Simple, opposite, slightly hairy, elliptical leaves, 4-9 cm long, smooth margins and a long distinctive apex or drip tip, leaf out early, long growing season.

Stems: Multiple stems; numerous arching branches; thick non-exfoliating gray to tan bark with noticeable interlacing ridges; older branches often hollow.

Flowers: Small, white to pink in color, tubular, paired flowers on short (0.5 cm) stalks arising from the leaf axils; fragrant; blooms May through June.

Fruit and seeds: Fruits are red and paired, borne on very short stalks; abundant; persistent; dispersed by birds.

Habitat: Relatively shade tolerant; occurs in a variety of soil and moisture conditions; invades open forests, savannas and prairies; disturbed areas are particularly vulnerable to invasion.

Reproduction: By seeds dispersed by birds.

Similar species: Natives Canadian fly honeysuckle (L. canadensis), Twinberry honeysuckle (L. involucrate), Swamp fly honeysuckle (L. oblongifolia) and Mountain fly honeysuckle (L. villosa) are comparatively short and sparse and lack hollow stems on older branches. Non-native privet species (Ligustrum spp.) have flowers and berries at the ends of their branches, not in the leaf axils.

Monitoring and rapid response: Monitor sunny, upland sites and open forests in spring as non-native honeysuckle leafs out before natives. Begin control efforts in highest quality areas; hand pull or dig small plants, removing all roots; target large, fruit-bearing plants for control/removal; foliar spray may be effective for large populations where few natives are present; treat cut stumps with herbicide; basal bark treatment is also effective, spray bottom 18 inches of all stems. Where fuel is present, prescribed fire may provide effective control of seedlings in fire adapted communities.

Credits: The Michigan Natural Features Inventory (MNFI) has partnered with MISIN to provide the information in this fact sheet. Species images and/or information were used with permission from "A Field Identification Guide to Invasive Plants in Michigan's Natural Communities" and "A Field Guide to Invasive Plants of Aquatic and Wetland Habitats for Michigan.

Common Name:

Amur honeysuckle

Scientific Name:

Lonicera maackii







USDA Symbol:


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