Japanese Honeysuckle

Photo by: Chuck Bargeron, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org

Japanese Honeysuckle

Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) is an extremely fast-growing perennial woody vine native to Asia. I was first introduced in the early 1800s for ornamental purposes because of its fragrant flowers and agricultural purposes for erosion prevention. After repeated introductions, Japanese honeysuckle began to spread in the wild. Japanese honeysuckle grows on the edges of woodlands and disturbed areas. It grows rapidly, covering native plants and winding around them, smothering and killing vegetation. It has tiny seeds that are transported by birds and other animals, further expanding its range. Japanese honeysuckle prefers full to partial sun but is also able to grow in shady environments and can survive in a wide variety of habitats. In northern areas, it is deciduous and in warm areas, it is semi-evergreen or evergreen. Japanese honeysuckle is invasive throughout most of the United States, including Hawaii, and is the most well-established ornamental vine in the country.

Native Alternatives

Trumpet Honeysuckle

(Lonicera sempervirens)

Trumpet Creeper

(Campsis radicans)

Carolina Jessamine

(Gelsemium sempervirens)

American Bittersweet

(Celastrus scandens)


(Bignonia capreolata)

Devil's Darning Needles

(Clematis virginiana)