Lonicera tatarica 'Alba'
Common Name: tatarian honeysuckle 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Caprifoliaceae
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 8.00 to 12.00 feet
Spread: 8.00 to 12.00 feet
Bloom Time: May
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge, Naturalize
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Fruit: Showy
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Black Walnut


Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Best in organically rich loams with good drainage. Prune out dead branching as needed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Lonicera tatarica, commonly called Tatarian honeysuckle, is a vigorous, densely-branched, rounded, deciduous shrub that typically grows to 8-12’ tall with branches arching at the top. Branches are clad with ovate to ovate-lanceolate bluish green leaves (to 2.5” long) that are pale beneath. No fall foliage color. Two-lipped, fragrant, pink flowers (to 1” long) bloom in pairs in the leaf axils in May. Flowers are followed by juicy red berries. Birds and small mammals love the fruit and become the primary agents for unwanted spread of this shrub into adjacent areas. Species plants have naturalized throughout much of the northern and western U.S. and are considered to be invasive plants in a number of areas.

Genus name honors Adam Lonitzer (1528-1586), German botanist, the author of an herbal (Kreuterbuch) many times reprinted between 1557 and 1783.

Specific epithet means of Central Asia, formerly called Tartary.

‘Alba’ features two-lipped, fragrant, pure white flowers.


Witches broom caused by Russian aphids can be a significant problem in the Midwest. Leaf spot, powdery mildew and blights may occur. Taller plants can become somewhat unkempt. May self-seed invasively.


Large hedge, screen, background plant or bird garden. May grow too tall for many applications around the home.