• White tubular flowers with green leaves.
    Flowers are white in color, paired, and tubular.
  • A mass of Japanese honeysuckle vines growing on a hillside.
    Japanese honeysuckle infestation along the Buffalo River.
  • Honeysuckle twining around a tree
    Evergreen woody, twining vine that can grow 30 feet in length or more.
  • A vine with green leaves that have a pointed tip and plants in the background.
    Opposite, ovate leaves that are 1.5 to 3 inches in long.
  • A vine with a few white flowers and green plants in the background.
    Plants can grow 30 feet or more.
  • A reddish stem with green leaves and unopened white flowers.
    Stems are hairy, and reddish/light brown in color.

Japanese honeysuckle

Common name: Japanese honeysuckle
Scientific name: Lonicera japonica Thunb.
Synonyms: Golden and silver honeysuckle

Legal status

Prohibited Eradicate

All above and below ground parts of the plant must be destroyed. Additionally, no transportation, propagation, or sale of this plant is allowed. Failure to comply may result in an enforcement action by the county or local municipality. 


Since its introduction in 1806, it has spread to Ontario, Puerto Rico, and 38 states. It was introduced to the United States from Eastern Asia for use as an ornamental plant, for erosion control, and for wildlife forage and cover. Its ornamental value comes from the prolific fragrant flowers and dense, rapid growth.


  • A woody, perennial, twining vine that can grow 30 feet in length or more.
  • Opposite leaves are ovate and 1.5 to 3 inches in length.
  • Fruits are black to purple, glossy, and paired.
  • Flowers are white when young and then become yellowish. The flowers are paired and tubular.
  • Stems are hairy and reddish to light brown.


Primarily occurs in disturbed habitats, but is also found in open woods, old fields, roadsides, and fence rows. Moderately shade tolerant but prefers full sun.

Means of spread and distribution

Spreads by seeds. Birds can consume fruit and disperse seeds, or it can reproduce vegetatively with vines trailing on the ground and rooting at the nodes.


Japanese honeysuckle grow rapidly and is capable of engulfing small trees and shrubs, causing their collapse. It can shade other plants in the understory, choking out native species. 

Prevention and management

  • Avoid spreading Japanese honeysuckle by learning to recognize it and not planting it. Remove all infestations from your property. Bag or burn all fruit for disposal.
  • For all management options, infested sites will need to be monitored and treated repeatedly until the seedbanks are depleted.
  • Foliar or cut stump herbicide applications can be effective. For specific herbicide recommendations, check with your local University of Minnesota Extension personnel, co-op, or certified landscape care expert. There are several businesses throughout the state with certified herbicide applicators that can be hired to perform chemical applications.
  • Mowing may result in suckering from the roots.