Honeysuckle -- invasive or not?

The common invasive, Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) is in bloom, with its fragrant, bell-shaped yellow and white blooms. For most of us, honeysuckle brings to mind the Japanese variety, native to Asia, which quickly takes over other plants and shrubs with its fast-growing vines. The dark blue fruit contains numerous seeds.

Japanese Honeysuckle (courtesy photo)

Pink Honeysuckle (courtesy photo)

Less known are species of honeysuckle native to North America, such as pink honeysuckle (Lonicera hispidula). In this area, some nurseries sell pink honeysuckle. A native plant to the Western U.S., it is more shrub-like and less troublesome to cultivate than the Japanese variety. The pink honeysuckle flowers are attractive to hummingbirds, and its small red fruits are eaten by many native birds.

Nature Notes for 6/12/2011