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Invasive Ground Covers

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Invasive Honeysuckles

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Phragmites australis subsp. australis

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Berberis thunbergii

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Wild Parsnip
Pastinaca sativa

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Winged Euonymus
Euonymus alatus

Invasive Honeysuckles

Invasive honeysuckles are herbaceous shrubs native to Korea, Japan and China. In the late 1800’s amur honeysuckles were introduced to North America to the Dominion Arboretum in Ottawa and to the Botanical Garden in New York for their attractive flowers. After this they were used as an ornamental plant, wildlife cover and to help with soil erosion.

Invasive honeysuckles are commonly found in old fields, floodplains, forest edges and roadsides. Compared to native species, they leaf out early and are able to hold their leaves into the fall. Their fruit is consumed by birds, allowing seeds to be distributed long distances.

Range

Amur, morrow and tatarian honeysuckles can be found throughout eastern and central United States, as well as Canada. In the United States they range from northeastern states, south to Tennessee and North Carolina. In Ontario, populations have mostly been reported in the central and eastern parts of the province.

Impacts of Invasive Honeysuckles

  • Rapidly invade areas, out-competing native plant species by forming dense patches.
  • Affect light and nutrient availability to neighboring plants.
  • Produce toxic chemicals that prevent other plants from growing in that area.
  • Fruit does not offer migrating birds the nutrients needed for long flights compared to native plant species.
  • Attract more pollinators causing native species to reduce the amount of seeds they produce.

How to Identify Invasive Honeysuckles

Exotic bush honeysuckles can easily be confused with native bush honeysuckles. Native bush honeysuckles usually have solid stems, compared to the exotics. Check the chart below to identify amur honeysuckle, morrow honeysuckle or tatarian honeysuckle.

Amur Honeysuckle
Lonicera maackii

  • Multi-stemmed deciduous shrub reaching 6 metres
  • Leaves are opposite and ovate
  • Stems are hollow
  • Flowers are white fading to yellow
  • Red berries
Morrow Honeysuckle
L. morrowii

  • Multi-stemmed deciduous shrub reaching 2.5 metres
  • Leaves are opposite and oblong
  • Stems are hollow
  • Flowers are white fading to yellow
  • Red berries
Tatarian Honeysuckle
L. tatarica

  • Multi-stemmed deciduous shrub reaching 5 metres
  • Leaves are opposite and egg shaped
  • Stems are hollow
  • Flowers are white to dark pink flowers
  • Red berries

What You Can Do

  • Learn how to properly identify invasive honeysuckles, such as amur, morrow and tatarian honeysuckles and how to effectively manage these invasive plants on your property.
  • Avoid using invasive plants in gardens and landscaping.
  • Purchase non-invasive plants from reputable horticultural suppliers. Native plants provide habitat and food sources for native wildlife.
  • When an invasive plant is flowering, cut the flower tops and put them into a plastic bag to prevent the plant from going to seed. Do not dispose of invasive plants in the compost pile – discard them in the regular garbage.
  • When hiking, reduce the spread of invasive plants and seeds by staying on trails keeping pets on a leash.
  • If you find invasive honeysuckles or other invasive species in the wild, please contact the Invading Species Hotline at 1-800-563-7711, or report a sighting online.

Other Resources

OFAH/OMNR Invading Species Awareness Program. (2012). Invasive Honeysuckles. Retrieved from: http://www.invadingspecies.com. This factsheet may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes.

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