Lonicera maackii (Rupr.) Maxim. - Bush Honeysuckle

Lonicera maackii plant

Family - Caprifoliaceae

Stems - Woody, multiple from base. A shrub to +5m tall, erect. New seasons growth tomentose. Twigs tomentose, typically hollow.

Leaves - Opposite, petiolate, simple. Petioles to +/-6mm long, tomentose. Blades ovate-lanceolate, acute to acuminate, entire, to +/-9cm long, +/-4cm broad, typically glabrous adaxially but sometimes with pubescence on midrib, pubescent abaxially especially on veins. Margins ciliolate.

Lonicera maackii leaves

Inflorescence - Axillary pedunculate paired flowers. Peduncles +/-3mm long, pubescent, with a pair of small bracts at the joint in the peduncle. Bracts to 3mm long, linear, ciliate. Pair of bracts subtending the calyx and ovary to 1.7mm long, rounded, ciliate-margined, green, pubescent.

Flowers - Corolla white when fresh, fading to a yellowish-white when older, often with some pinkish tinge at base of tube. Corolla tube to 9mm long, 2-3mm in diameter, tomentose externally, pubescent internally. Corolla bilabiate. Lower lip single-lobed. Lobe to +1.5cm long, 4mm broad, rounded at apex, glabrous internally, tomentose externally. Upper lip 4-lobed. Lobes to +1.5cm long, rounded at apex, pubescent externally, glabrous internally. Stamens 5, exserted, alternating with the corolla lobes, adnate at apex of corolla tube. Filaments to 1.1cm long, pubescent at base, glabrous near apex, white. Anthers yellow, to 6mm long, 1.2mm broad. Style white, 1.6cm long, pubescent, exserted. Stigma green, capitate. Ovary inferior, green, 3-locular, 1.5mm in diameter, sub-globose. Placentation axile. Calyx tube +/-1.5mm long, 5-lobed, pubescent, green. Lobes unequal, shallow, +/-1mm long, acute, greenish-white. Fruits red, 2-4mm in diameter, glabrous, fleshy.

Lonicera maackii calyxCalices.

Lonicera maackii flowers

Flowering - April - June.

Habitat - Disturbed sites, thickets, roadsides, railroads, woodland borders.

Origin - Native to Asia.

Other info. - This nasty and aggressive species was brought to North America in 1855 as an ornamental. It has since spread rapidly and is found over much of the eastern half of the U.S. from Kansas east. The berries are eaten by birds which helps the plant spread rapidly. There are other species of bush honeysuckles in Missouri but this is the most aggressive and common.

Photographs taken off the MKT Trail in Columbia, MO., 5-12-04.


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