Lonicera maackii (bush honeysuckle)

description: deciduous perennial shrub

place of origin: central and northeastern China, Korea, Japan

urban habitat: commonly found on roadsides, abandoned fields, disturbed or planted woodland areas, utility right-of-way areas, vacant lots; spreads rapidly by birds and mammals who disperse the seeds; forms dense understory thickets that can restrict growth of other plants; purportedly releases toxic chemicals in soil that inhibits growth of neighboring plants; is one of the first plants to leaf out in spring, giving it a competitive advantage.

ecological function: disturbance-adapted early successional plant; erosion control; food and habitat for wildlife.

history: Lonicera maackii was introduced from East Asia into cultivation in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1883 and was later grown in Germany from where it came to North America in 1896, and made its way to the US via seeds sent to the Arnold Arboretum from St. Petersburg, Russia. From 1960-1984 it was planted by the USDA soil conservation service for erosion control. It is now found from eastern states west to North Dakota, north to southern Ontario and south to Texas and is considered an invasive threat in Wisconsin and Tennessee.