By Joseph Mooney
This week we feature Lonicera maackii (Amur honeysuckle) and others of its ilk.
And which do you dislike more? Invasive honeysuckles or buckthorns? A few weeks ago, when we posted about common buckthorn, the response was strongly negative. One person simply wrote, “my nemesis.”
This week we feature the Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii) and include the relentless group of woody Loniceras that choke our woodlands, line the highways, and form impenetrable thickets in our local parks and neighborhoods.
These are the Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii), Morrow’s honeysuckle (Lonicera morrowii), and Tatarian honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica). The one you’ll see a lot of in our corner of Michigan is the Amur honeysuckle.
As to how the Loniceras got here, it’s the old familiar invasive story: people brought them here with good intentions—for their forms and flowers, erosion control, and as habitat for birds and animals. Eventually, they performed those functions all too well and became major botanical pests themselves.
Cut through a fresh Amur honeysuckle twig and you’ll find a hollow center. Photo: Kentucky Native Plant Society.