Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Japanese Honeysuckle - Lonicera japonica   Thunberg
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Section 6 » Order Dipsacales » Family Caprifoliaceae
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AuthorThunberg
DistributionThroughout the state; collected from every county.

Native of eastern Asia; in N.A. ME to Ont., MN, and NE south to FL and TX; also WA and CO south to CA and NM.
AbundanceAbundant throughout, and arguably the most widespread vascular plant in the state (in terms of acreage where found). One of the top 5 worst alien invasives in NC, able to cover natural forest and woodland ground layers and restrict native species. Also a pestiferous climbing vine.
HabitatMesic deciduous or mixed forests and woodlands, moist floodplain forests and bottomlands, disturbed woods and forests, pine plantations, roadsides, fields, powerlines, yard weed, campus weed.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting April-June.
IdentificationJapanese Honeysuckle needs no introduction, though it can be confused with a few other vine species. It is equally at home as a ground creeper or a climbing vine (up to 15 feet high). The woody stems are straw color, somewhat shreddy; the leaves are opposite, elliptical, short-pointed, and semi-evergreen. The oldest leaves of a plant (basal ones) tend to have some narrow lobing. The flowers grow in axils, white at first, turning dull yellow, long-tubular with flaring lobes, sweetly fragrant. Some forms have red or red-purple tinged leaves and pink tinged corollas. Many people confuse or overlook the native Coral Honeysuckle (L. sempervirens) or the native Carolina Jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens) with Japanese Honeysuckle. See those accounts for separation.
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State RankSE
Global RankGNR
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