Lonicera japonica

Japanese Honeysuckle

Botanical description: Japanese honeysuckle, Lonicera japonica, is prolific; it spreads by vigorous runners and can also seed into new areas. Introduced to this country as a highly-prized, fragrant ornamental from East Asia, this vine has long since hopped the fence. Writing in 1956, Dr. John Fogg called Japanese honeysuckle, “a close contender for the role of the most dangerous weed found in the country at large.” This honeysuckle can tolerate all tough, urban conditions, including road salt and poor soils, in fully exposed sites. Lonicera japonica also thrives in shady conditions in the understory of woodlands, scrambling up and over existing vegetation, which is why many consider it a rogue plant. Further expanding its potential for growth, the foliage of this honeysuckle is semi-evergreen in warmer climates. Hummingbirds and bees, along with other insects (and children) are drawn to the flowers by the sweet nectar found at the base of each tubular flower, found in pairs, inadvertently assist in pollination. Flowers appear in June and continue through frost, followed by the production of black fruits that are dispersed by birds.