Asian Bush Honeysuckles: Amur, Tartarian, Morrows and Bells
Origin of Asian Bush Honeysuckles: Amur, Tartarian, Morrows & Bells (Lonicera, Maackii, Tatarica, Morrowii, Bella Zabel)
These exotic Honeysuckles occur throughout Asia. The Amur is from Japan and China, the Tartarian is from Russia and Central Asia, and the Morrow's is also from Japan. Bell's Honeysuckle is the only 1 from Europe.
Identification/HabitatThis shrub may grow up to 17 feet tall. All non-native shrubs have hollow stems and twigs. The opposite leaves are long, to ovate in shape. The Amur Honeysuckle has accumulated leaves that taper to a small point; the flower can be white to pale pink.
The Tartarian honeysuckle leaves are smooth on the underside. The flowers of Morrows are generally white, while Bella's flowers are usually pink. All honeysuckle bushes flower in late May - June and this is followed by round red fruit in pairs that ripen mid to late summer on the stem. The easiest identification feature for these plants are their bright red berries, they stand out. Bush honeysuckles can grow in full sun to fairly shaded habitats. The soils it can grow in are also in a large spectrum. Some of the common habitats are woods, woodland edges, floodplain forest, swamps, roadside, and open fields.
Birds eat the fruit of the honeysuckle plant then by passing through their digestive tract, drop the seed in other locations, furthering the spread of the plant.
ProblemsThis plants form large dense stands that out compete native plant species. They alter habitats by decreasing light availability, by depleting soil moisture and nutrients, and possibly by releasing toxic chemicals that prevent other plant species from growing in the vicinity. They may also compete with many native species for pollination among local insects.
ControlHand removal of plants is possible for light infestations and where native species co-occur with it. When the soil is moist, firmly grasp the plant low and tug gently until the main root loosens from the soil and the entire plant pulls out. Remove the plant with its entire root system or new plants may sprout from root fragments. Take care not spread any plants that have gone to seed. Remove completely from the site and dispose of in garbage bags or at the town composting site. Foliar spray is not recommended as it can be harmful to the surrounding floura and fauna. See the invasive removal page for how to carry out these methods. Any removal within 100 feet of wetland resource areas, including certified vernal pools, or within 200 feet of a perennial stream may require approval from the Concord Natural Resources Commission. Please contact the Division of Natural Resources before you begin.
ReplacementsThe following native plants can serve as a good replacement for honeysuckle in a garden:
- Spicebush (Lindera benzoin)
- Ink-berry (Ilex glabra)
- Gray dogwood (Cornus racemosa)
- Northern bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica)
- Red chokecherry (Aronia arbutifolia)
- Arrowwood (Viburnum dentatum)