Hardiness: USDA Zone 2a: to -45.5 °C (-50 °F) USDA Zone 2b: to -42.7 °C (-45 °F) USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 °C (-40 °F) USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 °C (-35 °F) USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 °C (-30 °F) USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 °C (-25 °F) USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F) USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F) USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F) USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F) USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F) USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F) USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F) USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)
Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade Light Shade
Danger: Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Bloom Color: Pale Yellow White/Near White
Bloom Time: Late Spring/Early Summer
Other details: May be a noxious weed or invasive Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Soil pH requirements: 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic) 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral) 7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
Patent Information: Non-patented
Propagation Methods: From semi-hardwood cuttings From hardwood cuttings From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse From seed; stratify if sowing indoors
Seed Collecting: Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds
On Apr 28, 2013, zorba45 from Richfield, OH wrote:
This is a nice flowering plant. The birds love to eat the berries, while the bush can form a tall and thick privacy screen in areas with full shade. Hundreds of seedlings have come up throughout my yard, so i transplant a few every year to make a privacy screen. This plant is very vigorous in in full sun and shaded areas, and also provides wildlife food and cover. I dont understand why people dislike this plant.
On May 23, 2012, pjoid123 from Spotsylvania, VA wrote:
Right now it fills a niche in my partial shade garden. But it's very very stringy, and outside of the few blooms I get it's a plant I can't get very exited about. When I find something to replace the 2 specimens I have, they will end up in the compost pile. I got them from a neighbor in the subdivision. I saw about 50 in bloom at his house and was really impressed--not so much anymore! It's not quite a tree and not quite a bush.
On Feb 12, 2011, RosemaryK from Lexington, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:
I am not going to allow these shrubs any more parole! They were here with the property. The sprawling branches just cannot be made into an attractive shrub. They do flourish in the shade without many blossoms, but surely there are better replacements for these invaders.
On Mar 8, 2009, ptkexpres from Rolla, MO (Zone 5b) wrote:
I have two of these shrubs in my yard and enjoy them year round as do the birds. When they bloom they are covered with yellow and white typical honeysuckle looking flowers that turn into bright red decorative berries in the fall. The birds use these bushes for cover in between trips to our feeders and bird bath. One of my bushes is in full sun and the other is in partial shade and they both do equally well. I never water them since they are large established bushes, but I do give them a light pruning right after the flower to keep them the size I desire. This also helps limit the number of seeds they produce.
I have had a few volunteer plants sprout from seed, but they were easily removed before they were too large. My personal experience is that they are easy to manage if you take the time to keep them from taking over.
On Jul 30, 2007, calumetman from Chicago, IL wrote:
The small to medium sized shrubs of my uniformed youth have become the shrubs of regret in my adulthood. The if-only-I-knew-thens roll off my tongue like the numerous knarled and crouching branches that, along with the various confusing forms of buckthorn, dominate the backyard border understory at my family homestead in Southwestern Ohio's Mad River Valley. They seem to bend spider-like. Woody sentries guarding the unwanted groundcovers of garlic mustard and nettles.
I find myself drench in sweat from the exercise of removal. It is the latest challenge for this novice landscape/gardener whose cut his teeth on the more easily manipulated sandy wetland savanna soils of Chicago's Calumet Region, and learned all but too late about many of the eurasian invasions that threaten our native habitats.
Nevertheless, I've risen to the challenge of eradicating this scourge from what otherwise has grown into a fine brake of towering native Lindens, Ash, Sugar Maples, American Elms and Walnut trees, many as tall a 80+ feet, creating an attractive canopy. All apparently tapped into one of the many underground water sources dotted throughout the region. This factor certainly contributes to the root systems of these invaders being so well anchored. My attempt to transform this woodland property into a mini-nature preserve is a formidable one. But I am determined to give the cool dappled high shade, which lasts throughout the day, over to as many of our most attractive native varieties as possible. And say goodbye to Amur Honeysuckle forever.
Eurasian in origin, honeysuckles were first introduced to North America in the mid 1700's. Many people chose to plant honeysuckles to "improve wildlife habitat". Ironically, just the opposite occurs because they leaf out considerably earlier than most native species. Here is what was written by Elizabeth J. Czarapata regarding the early spring leaf out of the species, " honeysuckles' vigorous growth and early spring leaf-out inhibit the growth of native shrubs and groundlayer species, reducing food and cover for wildlife. If not controlled, they can become massive in size and eventually replace native plants in a given area by crowding or shadign them out and by depleting the soil of moisture and nutrients. Some studies suggest that exotic honeysuckles may also be allelopathic. Although Bella's, Morrow's and Tartarian varieties are well established across vast areas of the upper Midwest, Amur honeysuckle is currently msot problematic in the southern areas of this region but is spreading northward. Bella honeysuckle is a hybrid of Morrow's and Tartarian honeysuckle."
The following is an excerpt from "Invasive Plants of the Upper Midwest" written by Elizabeth J. Czarapata
"In a six-year study at the Morton Arboretum near Chicago, researchers found that robins and wood thrushes that nested in exotic buckthorn and honeysuckle shrubs suffered much greater predation than those that nested in comparable native shrubs like hawthorns and viburnums. Researchers believe that nests placed in these non-native shrubs are more vulnerable to predators compared to nests placed in native species. For example, the stronger limbs of honeysuckle encourage birds to build nests lower than they do in native shrubs, making it easier for raccoons and other marauders to prey on them. In addition, neither honeysuckle nor buckthorn have stout thorns like the hawthorns to protect the birds from mammalian predators. Because both non-native shrubs leaf out earlier than native shrubs, the birds are also more likely to choose these "ecological traps" for nesting early in the season. (Kenneth A, Schmidt and Christopher J. Whelan, "Effects of Exotic Lonicera and Rhamnus on Songbird Nest Predation", Conservation Biology, December 1999)
Note: Although not implicated in the study above, cats, also non-native in origin, are similarly deterred as predators by thorny plants like hawthorns. Research by John Coleman, Stanley Temple, and Scott Craven indicates that in Wisconsin alone rural free-ranging domestic cats kill about 39 million song birds per year.
Cedar Waxwings, gorgeous birds with striking black face masks, normally have a bright yellow band across the tip of their tails, but over the last thirty-five years, an increasing number of waxwings have been sporting an orange tail band instead. Laboratory studies in 1992 in the vicinity of Ithaca, New York, demonstrated that yellow-tailed waxwings, which were fed honey suckle berries (Lonicera morrowii) during molt, grew orange tails. Bird banders have also found orange replacing yellow in some white-throated sparrows, Kentucky warblers, and yellow-breasted chats. Because color is so important to the social behavior of birds (eg., mate selection), this introduced shrub could have far-reaching and adverse effects for all of these birds. (Based on information supplied by Mark Witmer, Section of Ecology and Systematics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY)"