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University of Minnesota Extension

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.

many honeysuckle plants growing together with pink and white flowers

How to identify honeysuckles

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


  • Older stems have shaggy bark and are often hollow.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • Fibrous and shallow.
comparing honeysuckle leaves and flowers size and color
Morrow's, Bell's and Tartarian flower and leaf
close up of red honeysuckle berries
Honeysuckle berries


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

Reviewed in 2019

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