Morrow's Honeysuckle
Lonicera morrowiiCaprifoliaceae
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Photos (c) Cheryl Comeau Beaton unless otherwise noted

Synonyms:

  • none

The Plant:

  • A woody, perennial shrub growing up to 8 feet high.

The Leaves:

  • opposite
  • oblong to narrowly elliptic
  • apex usually obtuse or acute
  • Grayish and tomentose below

The Stem:

  • hollow

The Flowers:

  • White five-petaled flowers fading to yellow with maturity. Peduncles, bracts, corolla and sepals are hairy. Blooms from May to June.

The Fruits:

  • red (rarely yellow)
  • in pairs
  • spherical
  • mid summer

The Habitat:

  • pastures, open forests, fields
  • dry, sandy, calcareous
  • prefers mesic soils

Dispersal:

  • birds eat the fruits and disperse seeds

Key ID Features:

  • shrub
  • opposite leaves
  • gray and fuzzy below
  • stems hollow
  • flower stalks hairy
  • red paired fruits

Similar Species:

  • Bell's honeysuckle (Lonicera x bella) and Tartarian honeysuckle (L. tartarica) look quite similar. Tatarian honeysuckle has pink flowers and lacks hairs on the undersides of the leaves. Bell's honeysuckle has pink to white flowers and has hairs on the undersides of the leaves. Morrow's honeysuckle flowers are white and the leaf undersides are hairy. It can be extremely difficult to distinguish between Morrow's and Bell's when the plants are in not in flower.
  • Amur honeysuckle (L. maackii), Dwarf honeysuckle (L. xylosteum) also look similar, especially when not in flower.
  • Native honeysuckles have solid stems, while non-native honeysuckles have hollow stems.

Notes:

  • Used as an ornamental in the landscape, Morrow's Honeysuckle quickly escaped cultivation. Its seeds are dispersed by birds that consume the red fruits. It creates dense stands and shades out natives. Lonicera morrowii can hybridize with L. tatarica to form the hybrid Lonicera x bella, also an extremely invasive plant.

Growth Form: Shrub

Origin: Japan

Level of Invasiveness for Nantucket: Invasive

Level of Invasiveness for Massachusetts: Invasive

Massachusetts Cultivation Restrictions: importation ban July 2006, propagation ban January 2009




Credits: The Electronic Field Guide to the Invasive Plants of Nantucket (c) 2005-2006 Maria Mitchell Association, EFG Project, UMass Boston