Shrub honeysuckle

florrie2May 14, 2008

A few years ago I found a flowering shrub growing wild in my woods. I was ecstatic! A flowering shrub that the DEER don't eat. I made some cuttings which are now on my porch.

Internet/book search on this plant tentatively identified as Tartaran Honeysuckle. MD Dept Agriculture lists it as invasive.

Do you think I should take out this shrub? How about my baby cuttings planted near my gate? It must be growing nearby for birds to spread the seeds, so I'm not sure if my eradication would help much.

Thanks for your help.


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ladyslppr(z6 PA)

I would get rid of it, even if its removal is merely symbolic because there is tons of it around your area and removing yours won't actually make any diffference in your area. This is one of several shrub honeysuckles that have taken over millions of acres of woodland, eliminating most of the native plants. here in PA we have Lonicera mackii and Lonicera morrowii, both of which look similar to Tartarian Honeysuckle. These shrubs do bear fruit in the summer and birds will eat the fruit, but around here the fruit goes largely untouched. I think it is not a favorite food, and it comes at a time when there is no shortage of food for birds and when many birds are eating insects more than fruit anyway. Although they do grow easily, I think there are many other shrubs that would be a lot more interesting and would attract more wildlife.

For something that birds like, try a dogwood such as Gray Dogwood, which has berries that really are favorites of birds. Another choice is Red stem Dogwood, which is also a favorite food. I think I'd rate the Gray Dogwood as about equally attractive as the honeysuckle, and the Red stem dogwood (Cornus stolonifera) as much more attractive. Viburnums are also good for attracting birds, and prettier than honeysuckle, I think. There are lots of other choices. Since you seem interested in starting your own plants, most of these are easily started from cuttings or suckers (stems with roots that arise near the base of a shrub). You could look around the area, find native shrubs you like, then try propogating your own, which is how I get almost all of my plants. That way my plants have authentic local genes, unlike nursery plants which might have been grown from plant material that originated halfway across the continent and four climates zones from where you will plant them.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 12:30PM
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I'd take it out. We have a similar infestation of chinese privet here and I cheerfully destroy every one that comes into my yard. When I'm in the woods on authorized plant rescues, I also pull out small ones or use my clippers to clip off branches with blooms so they can't make seeds that year.

Symbolic, as ladyslppr says, but it feels good to contribute to the cause!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 1:02PM
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These bush honeysuckles are a nightmare here in St. Louis County. I had three big ones in my backyard until I started planting natives and found out about invasives. It may just be a drop in the bucket, but replacing one of these nasty, invasives with a native bush brings us one step closer to the goal.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 5:50PM
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Kill it. I spent a good part of the winter ripping these out and I'm not done yet. Good things seem to be popping up in many of the places where I removed the invasive honeysuckle shrubs.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 6:15PM
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Hi guys! I have a question: are there any native honeysuckle bushes in New England? I have at least one honeysuckle bush in my yard, but I want to make sure it's a non-native before I kill it. Thanks.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 6:46PM
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The USDA site includes all the species, alien and native.
Look for the maps which cover your area , then click on those species to see if your plant is a match. Maps with a range in blue indicate natives.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lonicera USDA list of species

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 8:05PM
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ladyslppr(z6 PA)

Yes, there are several native shrub honeysuckles that could be in your yard, although they are all considerably rarer in most developed areas than the non-native ones.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 8:49AM
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I agree. I have Japanese honeysuckle that is trying to kill my native shrubs. My beautiful native hygrangea had both a floribunda rose and japanese honeysuckle mixed in when we moved here, and it was a bear to even cut them out, especially since our property is very hilly. It will likely take several years to really get rid of it but I agree with the others, it is worth the effort.

Depending on how much sun the area gets, I really like native clematis, but they need some direct sun to bloom and aren't shrubs. The native honeysuckles need some direct sun as well.

Virburnums are a good choice for heavier shade. Some tolerate quite a bit. Someone here could probaby tell you which ones.

I really like dogwoods as well.


    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 8:52AM
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I cleared some land in back of my house and found several honeysuckels and was excited to keep them, thinking i was going a good thing--i assumed it was a native (b/c that area was an unkept wooded spot). I am now realizing that "thing" that grew up inside my rose of sharon is that honeysuckle..and that there are baby shrubs EVERYWHERE!!

So this is an invasive, huh??? I'll have to be more ruthless in my treatment of this plant. And its been 2 years and i STILL haven't been able to break apart the rose of sharon and the honeysuckle---they remain one plant!!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 8:37PM
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terrene(5b MA)

The non-native shrub Honeysuckles are EVERYWEHRE around here. When I take walks in the area, the canopy is mostly native and there are some herbacious natives. But then I despair because the understory layer is 99% non-native. Lonicera, Rosa multiflora, Buckthorn, and Oriental Bittersweet are taking over.

Although it has wonderful fragrant flowers, and the birds do eat the berries, I would remove the Honeysuckle and plant natives. The Honeysuckle doesn't need any help spreading itself around.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 10:37AM
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