Non-native bush honeysuckles (Lonicera tatarica, L. morrowii, L. x bella, L. maackii)


Appearance:Upright deciduous shrubs, 5 -12' high. Bell's honeysuckle (Lonicera x bella) is a horticultural hybrid. Older stems have shaggy bark and are often hollow.

Leaves: Opposite, simple, oval, and untoothed. Tartarian (L. tatarica) has smooth, hairless leaves, Morrow's honeysuckle (L. morrowii) has downy leaves. Amur honeysuckle (L. maackii) leaves come to a long, sharp point.

Flowers: Fragrant, tubular, bloom in May and June, white, red, but most often pink.

Fruit: Fruits are red or yellow, situated in pairs in the leaf axils.

Roots: Roots are fibrous and shallow.

Ecological Threat:

  • Exotic honeysuckle replace native forest shrubs and herbaceous plants by their invasive nature and early leaf-out. They shade out herbaceous ground cover and deplete soil moisture.
  • Seeds are readily dispersed by birds.
  • Some research suggests that the plant inhibits the growth of other plants in its vicinity.
  • Introduced to North America as ornamental shrubs and beneficial to wildlife. Commercial propagation continues with many cultivars available from nurseries.
  • Bell's, Morrow's, Tartarian, and Amur honeysuckles are MDA Restricted noxious weeds in Minnesota.


Control Methods:


  • Pulling seedlings in small infestations when soil is moist
  • Prescribed burning will kill seedlings and top kill mature shrubs, repeated burns may be needed to control infestations


  • Cut-stump treatment with glyphosate; cut-stump or basal bark spray treatment around the stem with triclopyr
  • Foliage spraying with glyphosate solution, where burning is not possible, prior to leaf out of native species


Native Substitutes:

Additional Resources