Lonicera standishii
Weedy and Potentially Invasive: Do Not Plant
Common Name: Standish's honeysuckle 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Caprifoliaceae
Native Range: China
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 6.00 to 8.00 feet
Spread: 6.00 to 8.00 feet
Bloom Time: February to March
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Hedge, Naturalize
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Fruit: Showy
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Heavy Shade, Erosion, Dry Soil, Black Walnut
This plant has been found to be weedy and potentially invasive and should not be planted in Midwestern gardens.


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 certain areas of the U.S. where it has escaped from gardens.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Lonicera standishii, sometimes commonly called Standish honeysuckle or fragrant honeysuckle, is native to China. It is a late winter-blooming deciduous shrub (semi-evergreen in warm winter climates) that typically grows to 6-8’ tall and features fragrant white flowers, red berries, ovate-oblong to lanceolate green leaves and exfoliating bark. It was originally introduced into the U.S. as an ornamental shrub, but has escaped gardens and naturalized over time in a number of states including the general area of New York to Virginia to Illinois. Fragrant, tubular, creamy-white flowers (to 1” long) bloom in pairs in late winter to early spring (February-March in St. Louis). Flowers are sometimes lightly tinged with pink. Flowers are followed by juicy red berries. Opposite leaves (to 4” long) are finely pubescent. 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.

Specific epithet honors English nurseryman John Standish (c. 1809-1875).


Invasive nature of this plant is a serious problem in some urban and rural areas of the eastern and central U.S.


This shrub is not commonly found in commerce. It has in the past been used for a variety of purposes including landscape ornamental, wildlife cover/food plant, hedge and erosion control shrub. 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.