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Published In: Systema Vegetabilium. Editio decima quarta 216. 1784. (Jun-Jul 1784) (Syst. Veg. (ed. 14)) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 8/11/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Introduced


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4. Lonicera japonica Thunb. ex Murray (Japanese honeysuckle)

Map 1424, Pl. 334 c

Plants lianas to 5 m or more long, the main stems loosely twining, climbing on adjacent vegetation or more or less trailing on the ground. Twigs sparsely to moderately pubescent with spreading hairs, sometimes some of these with minutely glandular tips, the pith hollow, the bark of older branches becoming shredded. Winter buds conical, densely hairy. Leaf blades mostly 3–9 cm long, 1.5–4.5 cm wide, ovate to oblong-elliptic, rounded or angled to short-tapered at the base, angled or tapered to a sharply pointed tip, none perfoliate, the upper surface glabrous or more commonly short-hairy along the midvein, bright green to olive green, the undersurface sparsely to moderately pubescent with short, soft hairs mostly along the main veins, occasionally also with scattered stiffer hairs, not glaucous (pale green). Flowers in pairs in the axils of the leaves on current years growth (first-year wood), each pair at the tip of a stalk 1–25 mm long, the 2 bracts each 3–15 mm long, free, ovate to oblong-elliptic (leaflike), hairy, the pair of bractlets on opposite sides of each flower minute (0.7–1.2 mm long), free, oblong-ovate to nearly circular, hairy along the margins. Calyces hairy along the margins, the lobes 0.7–1.5 mm long, triangular to narrowly triangular, green, sometimes purplish-tinged. Corollas 30–47 mm long, strongly zygomorphic, divided about 1/2 of the way to the base into 2 recurved-curled lips of about equal length, the upper lip shallowly 3-lobed, the lower lip with 2 deeper lobes, the tube slender and not swollen or pouched near the base, white, turning cream-colored or pale yellow after pollination, usually hairy and stalked-glandular on the outer surface. Stamens and style exserted from the corolla, slightly longer than the corolla lobes, the style glabrous. Ovaries free. Fruits 5–8 mm in diameter, black. 2n=18. April–June.

Scattered nearly throughout the state (native of Asia, introduced widely in the U.S., Canada). Bottomland forests, mesic to dry upland forests, banks of streams, rivers, and spring branches, and margins of ponds, lakes, and sinkhole ponds; also fencerows, old fields, old homesites, railroads, roadsides, and mostly shaded disturbed areas.

Lonicera japonica was once common in horticulture because of its easy culture, rapid growth, numerous fragrant flowers, and attractive twining habit. It has proven to be aggressively invasive in a number of native plant communities in the state. In addition to the fruits, which are dispersed by birds, the species can spread by woody underground stems, and the aerial stems can root where they touch the ground. Japanese honeysuckle forms dense mounds and smothers other plants, and it sometimes girdles shrubs and small trees by twisting around their trunks. It may be semievergreen in mild winters.



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