Global Invasive Species Database 100 of the worst Donations home
Standard Search Standard Search Taxonomic Search   Index Search

   Lonicera japonica (vine, climber)  français     
Ecology Distribution Management
Info
Impact
Info
References
and Links
Contacts


      Japanese honeysuckle spiral trunk damage to the invasive plant Ligustrum vulgare (Photo: Martin Kohl) - Click for full size   Japanese honeysuckle spiral trunk damage to the invasive plant Ligustrum vulgare (Photo: Martin Kohl) - Click for full size   Japanese honeysuckle with toothed leaves (Photo: Martin Kohl) - Click for full size   Japanese honeysuckle thriving in Tennessee (Photo: Martin Kohl) - Click for full size
    Taxonomic name: Lonicera japonica Thunb.
    Synonyms: Caprifolium hallianum Hort., Lonicera brachypoda DC., Lonicera flexuosa Thun., Lonicera japonica var. chinensis, Lonicera japonica var. chinensis (P.W. Wats.) Baker, Nintooa japonica , Nintooa japonica (Thunb.) Sweet
    Common names: chèvrefeuille (French-Reunion (La Réunion)), chèvrefeuille du Japon (French), Chinese honeysuckle (English), Hall's honeysuckle (English), Japanese honeysuckle (English), Japanisches Geissblatt (German), madreselva (Dominican Republic), madressilva (Portuguese-Brazil)
    Organism type: vine, climber
    Lonicera japonica is an extremely vigorous vine which grows up through the canopy, smothering and ultimately killing the host tree. It competes with native plants for light and nutrients and prevents the understorey and small trees from developing, causing a reduction in forest diversity. Lonicera japonica is shade and drought tolerant, though it needs full to partial sunlight to grow successfully. It spreads rapidly via above-ground runners that root at nodes and its seeds may be eaten by birds and then dispersed. It is planted in gardens and along roadsides for landscaping purposes and can also be spread by the dumping of garden waste.
    Description
    Lonicera japonica is an evergreen in its southern range and semi-evergreen in its northern range. Stems are hollow with peeling reddish-brown bark and usually 2 to 3m long when developed. Leaves are 4 to 8cm long and ovate in shape. L. japonica produces white to yellowish tubular flowers that are 2.5 to 5cm long and black berries that contain 2 to 12 seeds. The seeds are 2 to 3mm long, ovate in shape, and dark brown to black in colour. Flowers are produced during summer and “fruit mature and are dispersed during autumn in eastern United States" (Hidayati et al. 2000). The blooming period extends from April to December in Georgia (Andrews 1919), late May to October in Kentucky (Nuzzo 1997), May to June in Illinois (Mohlenbrock 1986), and June in Michigan (Nuzzo 1997).
    Occurs in:
    natural forests, ruderal/disturbed, urban areas
    Habitat description
    Lonicera japonica is found in a variety of habitats, including fields, forest edges and openings, disturbed woods, and floodplains. It is shade and drought tolerant, though it needs full to partial sunlight to grow successfully. L. japonica is still planted in gardens and along roadsides for landscaping purposes.
    General impacts
    L. japonica competes with natives for light and nutrients. It outcompetes natives by spreading rapidly and completely covering and toppling small trees and shrubs in the process. This prevents the understory and small trees from developing, causing a reduction in forest understory diversity. The newly opened understory causes L. japonica to spread rapidly and provide habitat to other invasives, such as Hedera helix (English ivy) and Pueraria montana (kudzu).
    Uses
    L. japonica is beneficial as winter forage for white tail deer and is used for this purpose by wildlife managers. Birds and cotton-tailed rabbits also eat the seeds and leaves of the vine. It provides a habitat cover of twisted vines for birds and small mammals. Landscapers use it because of its fragrant smell. It is considered a valuable medical herb in China, where it is used to treat chicken pox and to maintain human vascular homeostasis.
    Geographical range
    Native range: L. japonica is native to Japan and Korea.
    Known introduced range: It has been introduced to the United States, Hong Kong, England, Wales, Portugal, Brazil, Argentina, and Corsica.
    Introduction pathways to new locations
    Landscape/fauna "improvement": It's planted along roadsides and in gardens for landscaping purposes.


    Local dispersal methods
    Consumption/excretion: Seeds may be eaten by birds and then dispersed.
    Garden escape/garden waste: Can be spread by dumping of garden waste
    Natural dispersal (local): Spreads via above ground runners that root at nodes.
    Other (local): The vine is moving northward in the USA, possibly because it is adjusting to colder temperatures.
    Management information
    Preventative measures: A Risk Assessment of Lonicera japonica for Hawai‘i and other Pacific islands was prepared by Dr. Curtis Daehler (UH Botany) with funding from the Kaulunani Urban Forestry Program and US Forest Service. The alien plant screening system is derived from Pheloung et al. (1999) with minor modifications for use in Pacific islands (Daehler et al. 2004). The result is a score of 12 and a recommendation of: "Likely to cause significant ecological or economic harm in Hawai‘i and on other Pacific Islands as determined by a high WRA score, which is based on published sources describing species biology and behaviour in Hawai‘i and/or other parts of the world."

    Physical: Mowing and grazing control the spread of L. japonica, however, this does not eradicate it. Prescribed burns remove aboveground vegetation and reduce new growth but do not destroy roots, which will continue to produce sprouts.

    Chemical: Chemical control is effective if used in the correct concentration and applied at the appropriate time of year. An effective treatment appears to be a foliar spray of 1.5% glyphosate applied shortly after the first frost.

    Integrated management: The most effective eradication technique seems to be a combination of both herbicide application and burning. The evergreen nature of the plant throughout its range allows it to photosynthesize longer, providing it with a competitive advantage over other plants that go dormant earlier. But fortunately, this also allows for easier identification, assessment and treatment among dormant native plants.

    Reproduction
    Lonicera japonica reproduces vegetatively and by seed. Seeds are spread mostly by birds, which ingest the berries and excrete the seeds. L. japonica plants spread by way of aboveground runners that root at the nodes. The plants are pollinated by a variety of insects, such as bumblebees, butterflies, and especially hawkmoths, but in some areas may produce few fruits and seeds (Larson et al. 2002). Seeds require cold stratification to overcome dormancy (Hidayati et al. 2000). L. japonica produces 2 to 12 seeds per berry.
    Lifecycle stages
    Lonicera japonica has an extended growing season, owing to its evergreen nature.
    Reviewed by: Dr. Katherine C. Larson, Associate Professor of Biology; University of Central Arkansas Conway, USA Dr. Siti N. Hidayati, Adjunct Professor of Biology; Department of Biology Middle Tennessee State Uni
    Compiled by: National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) & IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG)
    Last Modified: Wednesday, 16 November 2005


ISSG Landcare Research NBII IUCN University of Auckland