Japanese Honeysuckle

Japanese honeysuckle flowers © Chuck Bargeron
Japanese honeysuckle flowers © Chuck Bargeron


Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) is a perennial woody vine from Asia that grows up to 30 feet in length. Showy, white to cream colored, fragrant, flowers are borne in pairs in leaf axils along the stem. Fruit are dark purple or black. Japanese honeysuckle was introduced in the 19th century as an ornamental plant.

The Problem

It invades fields, field edges, and, to a lesser degree, forests, and out competes or strangles and smothers native vegetation. Birds and other wildlife are attracted to the fruit and spread the seeds. Japanese honeysuckle is most common in southeastern Massachusetts and along the coast.

The Solution

Hand pulling can be effective for small populations. Mowing can be effective if repeated frequently. Control can be achieved with a foliar spray of a systemic herbicide, although repeated treatments may be needed. Always read and follow the directions on the label when using herbicide.

Japanese honeysuckle flowers © Chuck Bargeron
© Chuck Bargeron
Japanese honeysuckle fruit © Ted Bodner
© Ted Bodner