Perennial woody vine, trailing or climbing to 9 m long Stem: thin, hairy when young. Leaves: opposite, stalkless or stalked (to 1 cm), 4 - 8 cm long, egg-shaped to oblong with a rounded or broadly tapering base and pointed tip, occasionally toothed or lobed, hairy or slightly hairy. Flowers: in pairs, axillary, fragrant. Bracts leaf-like, egg-shaped. Calyx green, short, hairy, five-lobed. Corolla strongly two-lipped, white or cream-colored, 3 - 5 cm long, tubular, five-lobed (upper lip four-lobed, lower lip a single lobe), glandular hairy. Corolla tube about equaling lips. Stamens four, long, projecting. Stigma green. Fruit: a few-seeded berry, in pairs, black, to 8 mm in diameter, spherical.
Similar species: Lonicera japonica is the only twining or climbing Lonicera species without fused upper leaves.
Flowering: mid-June to mid-August
Habitat and ecology: Introduced from Asia. Escaped from cultivation and found in a variety of habitats, including woods, thickets, roadsides, railroad right-of-ways, fields, and abandoned homesites. This is a very invasive species, having the ability to form dense tangles which can smother trees and crowd out native plants.
Occurence in the Chicago region: non-native
Notes: Because of its potential to harm native plant communities, the sale and distribution of Lonicera japonica is illegal in some states, including Illinois. Management information for this important invasive can be found at the Global Invasive Species Database (see link below).
Etymology: Lonicera is named after Adam Lonicer (1528-1586), a German botanist and author. Japonica means "of or from Japan."
Author: The Morton Arboretum
Kearney and Peebles 1969, McDougal 1973
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Non-Native Lifeform: Vine General: Shrubby, twining and climbing perennials, to 8 m tall, stems hairy when young, with shredding bark, plants semi-evergreen. Leaves: Opposite, ovate to oblong, 3-8 cm long, margins entire, more or less pubescent on both sides, borne on short petioles, 1-2 pairs beneath the inflorescence often fused around the stem. Flowers: White or tinged red, becoming yellow with age, strongly bilabiate, corollas 3-4 cm long, the tube hairy and pouched at the base, the outside pubescent and somewhat purplish, with 2 ovate bracts and 4 rounded bractlets, the stamens, style, and stigmas exserted and showy, flowers borne in pairs on short, axillary peduncles. Fruits: Black, fleshy berry, few seeded. Ecology: Found in disturbed areas up to 3,500 ft (1067 m); flowering spring and summer. Distribution: Extensively naturalized in the southeastern United States. Notes: Look to the strongly twining stems, bilabiate flowers, and black berries to help identify this species. Ethnobotany: There is no specific use recorded for the species, but the genus has many uses. Etymology: Lonicera is named for Adam Lonitzer (1528-1586), a German herbalist, physician and botanist who wrote a standard herbal text that was reprinted many times between 1557 and 1783, while japonica means of or belonging to Japan, Japanese. Synonyms: None Editor: LCrumbacher 2011
Trailing or climbing vine, the young stems hairy; lvs ovate to oblong, 4-8 cm, rounded or broadly cuneate at base, sometimes toothed or lobed, glabrescent or hairy; peduncles axillary, 5-10 mm; bracts ovate, foliaceous; bractlets rotund, ciliate; cor 3-5 cm, strongly bilabiate, white or cream, the tube about equaling the lips; fr black; 2n=18. Native of e. Asia, now well established in woods and fields in our range. (Nintooa j.)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.
This species has been cultivated for a long time and is still common in cultivation. Where it is planted it persists under the most adverse circumstances and usually spreads rapidly by rootshoots. I have seen it only twice where I felt sure that it was an escape from seed. No doubt it is permanently established in Indiana because the task of destroying it is too great.
Indiana Coefficient of Conservatism: C = null, non-native