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Published In: Mémoires Presentes a l'Académie Impériale des Sciences de St.-Pétersbourg par Divers Savans et lus dans ses Assemblées 9: 419. 1859. (Mém. Acad. Imp. Sci. St.-Pétersbourg Divers Savans) Name publication detailView 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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5. Lonicera maackii (Rupr.) Maxim. (Amur honeysuckle, bush honeysuckle)

Map 1425, Pl. 335 e, f

Plants shrubs 1.5–4.0(–5.0) m tall, the main stems erect or ascending, self-supporting. Twigs moderately to densely pubescent with short, curved, sometimes more or less tangled, unbranched hairs, the pith hollow. Winter buds ovoid, hairy. Leaf blades 3.5–9.5 cm long, 1.5–4.0 cm wide, elliptic to ovate-elliptic, angled or rounded to more commonly tapered at the base, tapered to a sharply pointed tip, the surfaces (and margins) sparsely to moderately pubescent with fine, mostly curved hairs, at least along the main veins, not glaucous, but the undersurface light green to 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 2–5(–8) mm long (often appearing sessile at fruiting), the 2 bracts each 1–4 mm long, free, linear, hairy, the pair of bractlets on opposite sides of each flower 1/2 as long to about as long as the ovary, free, oblong-obovate to nearly circular. Calyces with stalked glands and long, straight hairs, the lobes 0.2–0.5 mm long, triangular. Corollas 15–25 mm long, strongly zygomorphic, divided about 1/2 of the way to the base into 5 more or less spreading lobes of about equal length, the upper lip shallowly 4-lobed, the lower lip 1-lobed, the tube not or very slightly swollen or pouched on the lower side near the base, white (sometimes pinkish-tinged toward the base of the tube), turning yellow or orangish yellow after pollination or with age. Stamens and style exserted from the corolla, shorter than the corolla lobes, the style hairy. Ovaries free. Fruits 4–7 mm in diameter, orangish red to red. 2n=18. April–June.

Introduced, scattered, mostly around urban areas (native of eastern Asia, introduced widely in the eastern U.S. west to North Dakota and Texas, Canada). Bottomland forests, mesic upland forests, bases and ledges of bluffs, and banks of streams and rivers; also fencerows, gardens, railroads, roadsides, and shaded, disturbed areas.

Luken and Thieret (1995, 1996) reviewed the spread of Amur honeysuckle in North America, from its first introduction in the late 1800s to its establishment as a serious pest. So-called improved cultivars of L. maackii were developed by the U.S.D.A. Soil Conservation Service beginning in 1960 and the species was planted widely for erosion control, as a hedge or screen, and for ornamental purposes through the mid-1980s, when its invasive potential was first realized. In the Midwest, L. maackii largely replaced other bush honeysuckles in the horticultural industry and it remains available through some specialty nurseries today. Lonicera maackii was first reported for Missouri by Mühlenbach (1983) from the St. Louis railyards, but it remains undercollected in the state (for example, it is a problem plant in the Kansas City metropolitan area but is still undocumented from those counties). It has proven to be aggressively invasive in most midwestern states and has become the dominant species in the understory of many remnant wooded areas in and around cities. More recently it has used rivers and highways as dispersal corridors and is beginning to invade more rural portions of Missouri. Dense stands of Amur honeysuckle leaf out earlier in the spring than other understory plants, reducing sunlight required by spring ephemerals and germinating seeds of other species. Similarly, the species remains green until after other woody species have already lost their leaves. Because the plants strongly impact the structure of forest understories, they have been implicated in changes in nesting patterns of some native bird species, rendering the eggs and chicks more prone to predation. Luken and Thieret (1995) further noted that the berries are mildly toxic to humans but are strongly unpalatable.



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