Lonicera morrowii
WARNING: LOCALLY INVASIVE SPECIES
Common Name: morrow honeysuckle
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Caprifoliaceae
Native Range: Japan
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 5.00 to 8.00 feet
Spread: 6.00 to 10.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Creamy white
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Hedge, Naturalize
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Attracts: Birds
Fruit: Showy
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Heavy Shade, Black Walnut
This plant is listed as an exotic invasive species to Missouri and the Midwest by the Midwest Invasive Plant Network. The species should not be planted in the Midwest. Control and Alternatives

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Will tolerate considerable shade. Best in organically rich loams with good drainage. Easily naturalizes (self-seeding) to the point where it is considered an invasive species in many areas of the U.S. where it has escaped from gardens.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Lonicera morrowii , commonly called shrub or bush honeysuckle, is native to Japan. It was first introduced into the U.S. in 1875. It was originally planted as an ornamental shrub, but it escaped gardens and naturalized over time in a number of states including the general area of Maine to Minnesota south to North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee and Arkansas. At this point, the plant is for all practical purposes a weed. It is a densely-branched, deciduous shrub that typically grows to 8’ tall and 10’ wide and features oval or oblong to elliptic, dull medium green leaves (to 2 1/2” long). Tubular, fragrant, creamy-white flowers (to 1” long) bloom in the leaf axils in May-June. Flowers tend to yellow with age. 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. Once spread into the wild, it can form dense, shrubby, understory colonies that eliminate many native woody and herbaceous plants.

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

Problems

Invasive nature of this plant is a serious problem in many urban and rural areas of the eastern and central U.S. It is not unusual for roadsides, wooded areas and disturbed sites on the periphery of urban areas to become colonized with this honeysuckle. Control measures include a range of options from digging out plants in sparsely infested areas to prescribed burning or application of chemicals such as glyphosate in heavily infested areas.

Garden Uses

This shrub has in the past been used for a variety of purposes including landscape ornamental, wildlife cover/food plant, hedge and erosion control shrub. This species may be difficult to find in commerce today. Because of invasiveness problems that go beyond the control of homeowners, it is not currently recommended that this shrub be ornamentally planted in the St. Louis area.