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LONICERA japonica

Image of Lonicera japonica

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Caprifoliaceae

Botanical Name

LONICERA japonica

Plant Common Name

Japanese Honeysuckle

General Description

Japanese Honeysuckle is a semi-evergreen vine that is native to eastern Asia and has become naturalized across many regions of the United States. It has light to dark green leaves and highly fragrant tubular flowers that are white with lilac markings and age to creamy yellow. These bloom from spring to early summer and are followed by red to orange berry-like fruit that is attractive to birds. The dense foliage of Japanese honeysuckle has no notable fall color.

These vigorous Japanese honeysuckle can tolerate a wide range of soils and light exposures, with most robust growth and flowering in fertile soils in full sun. It is a highly invasive and aggressive plant, in the garden and beyond, so gardeners beware. Left to its own devices, it naturally layers and seeds-in, forming dense complexes of vines. Birds readily eat and spread the seeds across the landscape, too.

Some cultivars have bushier habits, such as the nearly evergreen 'Dart's World', which also sports red flushed flowers. Cultivar 'Halliana' is widely known for its bee-attracting white flowers that fade to yellow. There are many attractive honeysuckle vines that are much tamer and more appropriate for use in the garden landscape, such as the exceptional goldflame honeysuckle, Lonicera x heckrottii or woodbine, Lonicera periclymenum.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Vine/Liana

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    10'-30' / 3.0m - 9.1m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    Eastern Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Pollution, Drought, Soil Compaction

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Vining/Climbing

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Yellow

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Bicolor

  • Fruit Color

    Red, Orange Red

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Light Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green

  • Bark Color

    Tan

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Exfoliating

  • Usage

    Vine

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Yes

  • Attracts

    Birds, Hummingbirds

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes