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Exotic honeysuckles

Quick facts

The non-native (exotic) Bell's, Morrow's, Tartarian and Amur honeysuckles are Restricted noxious weeds in Minnesota.

  • Exotic honeysuckles leaf out early in the season and shade out native herbaceous ground cover.
  • Seeds are readily dispersed by birds.
  • Plants deplete soil moisture and inhibit the growth of other plants and trees in the vicinity.
  • Northern bush honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera) is native to Minnesota and a good substitute for local landscapes.

These exotic honeysuckles should be reported. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources provides detailed recommendations for reporting invasive species.

How to identify honeysuckles

  • Upright deciduous shrubs, 8–12 feet high.
  • Bell's honeysuckle is a larger horticultural hybrid; up to 20 feet.

Stem

  • Older stems have shaggy bark and are often hollow.

Leaves

  • Opposite, simple, oval and untoothed.
  • Morrow's (L. morrowii) has downy leaves.
  • Hybrid Bell's (L. x bella) leaves may be hairless or downy.
  • Tartarian (L. tatarica) has smooth hairless leaves.
  • Amur honeysuckle (L. maackii) leaves come to a long, sharp point.

Flowers

  • Fragrant, tubular flowers that are white, red or, most often, pink.
  • Blooms in May and June.

Fruit and seeds

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

Roots

  • Fibrous and shallow.
Morrow's, Bell's and Tartarian flower and leaf
Honeysuckle berries

 

Angela Gupta, Extension educator; Amy Rager, Extension educator; Megan M. Weber, Extension educator

Reviewed in 2019

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