Japanese honeysuckle

Japanese honeysuckle

Lonicera japonica

Common Name:

Japanese honeysuckle

Scientific Name:

Lonicera japonica

Alternative common names:

Honeysuckle,Chinese honeysuckle, Gold and silver flower, Hall’s honeysuckle.


It is a twining vine able to climb up to 10 metres high or more in trees, with opposite, simple oval leaves 3-8 centimetres. This species has mainly become naturalised in or near rainforests and other closed forests, particularly those close to habitation. It also grows in riparian areas, distrubed sites and waste areas in wetter temperate, sub-tropical and tropical regions.

Additional Information

Where does this species come from?

Eastern Asia including China, Japan and Korea.

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

NEMBA Category 3

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

Western Cape

How does it spread?

Seeds are dispersed by birds and other animals that eat the fruit, while the seeds and stem segments are also spread by water, in dumped garden waste, by slashers and in contaminated soil. It also spreads vegetatively via its creeping stems which produce roots at their joints

Why is it a problem?

It blocks sunlight with their dense canopy and eventually pulling down their dead hosts with the weight of the vine.

What does it look like?

Leaves: Simple oval leaves 3-8 centimetres.

Flowers: Flowers of Japanese honeysuckle are in axillary pairs with corolla 1.5-5 cm.

Fruit/seeds: Flowering and seed production are most prolific, and occur at an earlier age, when plants are in open habitats.

Does the plant have any uses?

It is an effective groundcover, and has pleasant, strong-smelling flowers.

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