Invasive Species Compendium

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Datasheet

Lonicera morrowii
(Morrow’s honeysuckle)

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Datasheet

Lonicera morrowii (Morrow’s honeysuckle)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 05 December 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Lonicera morrowii
  • Preferred Common Name
  • Morrow’s honeysuckle
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Lonicera morrowii is a deciduous, woody shrub, native to Japan, China and the Republic of Korea. It was introduced to the USA from Japan in the 1860s as an ornamental, but has since escaped cultivation, is cons...

  • Principal Source
  • Draft datasheet under review

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle); habit, with flowers. USA.
TitleHabit
CaptionLonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle); habit, with flowers. USA.
Copyright©Leslie J. Mehrhoff/University of Connecticut/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle); habit, with flowers. USA.
HabitLonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle); habit, with flowers. USA.©Leslie J. Mehrhoff/University of Connecticut/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle); flowers. USA.
TitleFlowers
CaptionLonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle); flowers. USA.
Copyright©Leslie J. Mehrhoff/University of Connecticut/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle); flowers. USA.
FlowersLonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle); flowers. USA.©Leslie J. Mehrhoff/University of Connecticut/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle); habit, with fruits. Turtle Pond, Three Creeks Metro Parks, Columbus, Ohio, USA. September 2017.
TitleHabit
CaptionLonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle); habit, with fruits. Turtle Pond, Three Creeks Metro Parks, Columbus, Ohio, USA. September 2017.
Copyright©Sixflashphoto/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 4.0
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle); habit, with fruits. Turtle Pond, Three Creeks Metro Parks, Columbus, Ohio, USA. September 2017.
HabitLonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle); habit, with fruits. Turtle Pond, Three Creeks Metro Parks, Columbus, Ohio, USA. September 2017.©Sixflashphoto/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 4.0
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle); habit, with fruits. USA.
TitleHabit
CaptionLonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle); habit, with fruits. USA.
Copyright©Leslie J. Mehrhoff/University of Connecticut/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle); habit, with fruits. USA.
HabitLonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle); habit, with fruits. USA.©Leslie J. Mehrhoff/University of Connecticut/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle); mature fruits. USA.
TitleFruits
CaptionLonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle); mature fruits. USA.
Copyright©Leslie J. Mehrhoff/University of Connecticut/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle); mature fruits. USA.
FruitsLonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle); mature fruits. USA.©Leslie J. Mehrhoff/University of Connecticut/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle); young plants. USA.
TitleYoung plants
CaptionLonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle); young plants. USA.
Copyright©Leslie J. Mehrhoff/University of Connecticut/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle); young plants. USA.
Young plantsLonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle); young plants. USA.©Leslie J. Mehrhoff/University of Connecticut/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle); habit, showing established trunk with new shoots and leaves. Maryland, USA. May 2015.
TitleHabit
CaptionLonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle); habit, showing established trunk with new shoots and leaves. Maryland, USA. May 2015.
Copyright©Richard Gardner/Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle); habit, showing established trunk with new shoots and leaves. Maryland, USA. May 2015.
HabitLonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle); habit, showing established trunk with new shoots and leaves. Maryland, USA. May 2015.©Richard Gardner/Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle); habit, showing established trunk. USA.
TitleHabit
CaptionLonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle); habit, showing established trunk. USA.
Copyright©Leslie J. Mehrhoff/University of Connecticut/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle); habit, showing established trunk. USA.
HabitLonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle); habit, showing established trunk. USA.©Leslie J. Mehrhoff/University of Connecticut/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Lonicera morrowii Gray

Preferred Common Name

  • Morrow’s honeysuckle

Other Scientific Names

  • Caprifolium morrowii (A. Gray) Kuntze
  • Lonicera insularis Nakai
  • Lonicera insularis var. lutescens Skvortzow
  • Lonicera insularis var. mandshurica Skvortzow
  • Lonicera morrowii var. gamushiensis Hayashi
  • Lonicera tatarica var. morrowii (A. Gray) Q. E. Yang, Landrein, Borosova & J. Osborne
  • Xylosteon morrowii (A.Gray) Moldenke

International Common Names

  • English: Asian fly-honeysuckle; fly honeysuckle; Morrow’s bush honeysuckle

Local Common Names

  • Canada: chèvrefeuille de Morrow
  • France: clématite de Morrow
  • Germany: morrow-heckenkirsche; morrows heckenkirsche

EPPO code

  • LONMO (Lonicera morrowii)

Summary of Invasiveness

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Lonicera morrowii is a deciduous, woody shrub, native to Japan, China and the Republic of Korea. It was introduced to the USA from Japan in the 1860s as an ornamental, but has since escaped cultivation, is considered invasive and is prohibited in some states in the USA. It invades open woodlands, old fields and other disturbed sites, and spreads rapidly due to seed dispersal by birds and mammals. It can form a dense understory thicket which restricts native plant growth and tree seedling establishment. L. morrowii hybridizes with another non-native honeysuckle, L. tatarica, to produce L. x bella, and this plant is also considered invasive.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Dipsacales
  •                         Family: Caprifoliaceae
  •                             Genus: Lonicera
  •                                 Species: Lonicera morrowii

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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The genus name, Lonicera, honours the German botanist, Adam Lonitzer (1528-1586) (Missouri Botanical Garden, 2018).

The species, L. morrowii, was named after the collector, James Morrow who sent a specimen of the plant to the USA, circa 1862 (Go Botany, 2018; IPANE, 2018).

Description

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L. morrowii is a deciduous, woody shrub with hollow stems and brown or grey bark that is ridged and peels off easily (Go Botany, 2018). It grows up to 2.4 m tall (Invasive.org, 2018). It has simple, untoothed, elliptical or oblong leaves that are 25-50 mm long, with two leaves per node (Go Botany, 2018). Leaves are hairy underneath and hairless or sparsely hairy on the upper surface (Go Botany, 2018). They are greyish and tomentose on the lower surface (IPANE, 2018) and have one main vein running from the base towards the tip, with secondary veins branching off at intervals (Go Botany, 2018). Peduncles are 5-15 mm and very hairy, and bractlets, sepals and corolla are also covered in downy hair (IPANE, 2018). Winter buds have three or more scales that overlap like shingles, with one edge covered and the other exposed (Go Botany, 2018).

Flowers are white, yellow or green, bilaterally symmetrical, and carried in an inflorescence of 5-15 mm that is a monochasial cyme (Go Botany, 2018). According to Snyder and Kaufman (2004), the flowers of L. morrowii are white in colour, turning pale yellow with age. Petals are thin and delicate, the ovary is inferior, flowers have five stamens, and one pistil (Go Botany, 2018).

Fruits are fleshy red or yellow berries (Go Botany, 2018) that are spherical, borne in pairs and appear from mid-summer and often persist throughout winter (Invasive.org, 2018; IPANE, 2018). They are abundant, carried on 1.3 cm pedicels and are 0.6 cm in diameter (Invasive.org, 2018). Each fruit contains many seeds (Snyder and Kaufman, 2004).

Plant Type

Top of page Broadleaved
Perennial
Seed propagated
Shrub
Vegetatively propagated
Woody

Distribution

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L. morrowii is native to Japan, China and the Republic of Korea (USDA-ARS, 2018). It is introduced in Canada, occurring in British Colombia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan (Canadensys, 2017). It is also introduced in the USA, where it is listed in many states as an invasive species (Go Botany, 2018; USDA-NRCS, 2018).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Asia

ChinaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2018
-HeilongjiangPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2018
-LiaoningPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2018
JapanPresentNativeGo Botany, 2018; USDA-ARS, 2018
-HokkaidoPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2018southwest
-HonshuPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2018
Korea, DPRPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2018Kyongsang Puk (Ulleung-do)

North America

CanadaPresentIntroducedPresent based on regional distribution
-British ColumbiaPresentIntroducedCanadensys, 2017
-New BrunswickPresentIntroducedCanadensys, 2017
-OntarioPresentIntroducedCanadensys, 2017
-QuebecPresentIntroducedCanadensys, 2017
-SaskatchewanPresentIntroducedCanadensys, 2017
USAPresentIntroduced1860s Invasive Go Botany, 2018
-AlabamaPresentIntroduced Invasive SE-EPPC, 2007On watch list A in the following habitats: urban and interface, managed forests, natural areas and parks and rights-of-way
-ArkansasPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2018
-ColoradoPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2018
-ConnecticutPresentIntroduced Invasive Go Botany, 2018; USDA-NRCS, 2018Prohibited
-DelawarePresentIntroduced Invasive Skibo, 2006; USDA-NRCS, 2018
-District of ColumbiaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2018
-IllinoisPresentIntroduced Invasive Nyboer, 2007; USDA-NRCS, 2018
-IndianaPresentIntroduced Invasive INPAWS, 2018Central and north Indiana, moving into south Indiana
-IowaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2018
-KentuckyPresentIntroduced Invasive KY-EPPC, 2015; USDA-NRCS, 2018Moderate threat. Spreading in disturbed areas
-MainePresentIntroduced Invasive UMaine Extension, 2001; Go Botany, 2018; MA-DACF, 2018; USDA-NRCS, 2018Prohibited
-MarylandPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2018
-MassachusettsPresentIntroduced Invasive Go Botany, 2018; Mass.gov, 2018; USDA-NRCS, 2018Prohibited
-MichiganPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2018
-MinnesotaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2018
-MissouriPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2018
-New HampshirePresentIntroduced Invasive Go Botany, 2018; USDA-NRCS, 2018Prohibited
-New JerseyPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2018
-New MexicoPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2018
-New YorkPresentIntroduced Invasive Hunter and Mattice, 2002; Vellend, 2002; USDA-NRCS, 2018Seeds spread by white-tailed deer
-North CarolinaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2018
-OhioPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2018
-PennsylvaniaPresentIntroduced Invasive Edalgo and Anderson, 2009; Edalgo et al., 2009; PA-DCNR, 2018; USDA-NRCS, 2018
-Rhode IslandPresentIntroduced Invasive Go Botany, 2018; USDA-NRCS, 2018
-South CarolinaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2018
-TennesseePresentIntroducedTE-EPPC, 2009; Tennessee Department of Agriculture, 2018; USDA-NRCS, 2018Propagation, sale and release prohibited in the state of Tennessee
-VermontPresentIntroduced Invasive Go Botany, 2018; USDA-NRCS, 2018; Vermont.gov, 2018Prohibited
-VirginiaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2018
-West VirginiaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2018
-WisconsinPresentIntroduced Invasive Hoffman and Kearns, 1997; USDA-NRCS, 2018; WDNR, 2018Restricted
-WyomingPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2018

History of Introduction and Spread

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L. morrowii was introduced to the USA from Japan by Dr. James Morrow, who sent it to Asa Gray in Massachusetts around 1862 (IPANE, 2018). It was widely grown as an ornamental plant (Go Botany, 2018; IPANE, 2018). It has since escaped cultivation, and is now considered invasive in a number of states in the USA (Go Botany, 2018).

Introductions

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Introduced toIntroduced fromYearReasonIntroduced byEstablished in wild throughReferencesNotes
Natural reproductionContinuous restocking
Massachusetts Japan 1860s Ornamental purposes (pathway cause) Yes No Go Botany (2018); IPANE (2018)

Risk of Introduction

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Where this species is considered to have ornamental value, there is the possibility of it escaping cultivation and spreading in the wild.

Habitat

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In the USA, L. morrowii is found in disturbed habitats, floodplains of rivers or streams, in forests and on the edges of wetlands (Go Botany, 2018). It is commonly found in forests and edges, as well as old fields and roadsides (MA-DACF, 2018). 

In New England, it is found in abandoned fields, early successional forest, forest edges, floodplain forest, open disturbed areas, pasture, planted forest, roadsides, utility right-of-way, vacant lots, yards and gardens (IPANE, 2018).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

L. morrowii has a chromosome number of 2n = 18 (Prof. Summer’s Web Garden, 2009).

It has been reported to hybridize with L. tatarica to produce L. x bella, a hybrid frequently observed in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont (Go Botany, 2018).

Reproductive Biology

L. morrowii produces an abundance of seeds that are long-lived in the soil (TexasInvasives.org, 2004). It has been suggested that the seeds require a cold stratification period to break dormancy (Hoffman and Kearns, 1997). However, some studies suggest that seeds may require a warm stratification period or no stratification period at all to germinate (Hidayati et al., 2000). Fresh seeds of L. morrowii are not always dormant, with about 30% germination at 25/15˚C in light (Hidayati et al., 2002).

Physiology and Phenology

L. morrowii flowers between May and June (Hoffman and Kearns, 1997; IPANE, 2018).

In the USA, L. morrowii hybridizes with L. tatarica, to produce L. x bella (Whitehead and Bowers, 2013; Go Botany, 2018). It has been shown that the hybrid inherits a diversity of glycosides (components of plant defence compounds) from its parents, but also has some that are not present in either parent (Whitehead and Bowers, 2013). These compounds have consequences for plant interactions with pathogens, herbivores and seed dispersers and so could affect potential invasiveness (Whitehead and Bowers, 2013).

L. morrowii and the hybrid L. x bella have smaller genome sizes and higher photosynthetic capacity than the native species L. canadensis, traits that have been linked to growth behaviour and invasiveness in woody species (Fridley and Craddock, 2015).

Associations

A study by Edalgo and Anderson (2009), carried out in an old-field area in Pennsylvania, USA, found that there was a higher abundance of exotic earthworms under L. morrowii than under the native species Viburnum dentatum. The authors suggested that native shrubs could be useful for revegetation plans to reduce the abundance of both exotic shrubs and earthworms.

Environmental Requirements

In its native range, L. morrowii occurs in climates similar to those on the Atlantic coast of the USA (UMaine Extension, 2001). It prefers mesic soils, but grows well in dry, sandy soils in calcareous areas (IPANE, 2018). It tolerates nutrient-poor soils (MA-DACF, 2018). It also prefers sun, but is shade-tolerant and can invade intact forest understory (MA-DACF, 2018).

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
BS - Steppe climate Tolerated > 430mm and < 860mm annual precipitation
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year
Df - Continental climate, wet all year Preferred Continental climate, wet all year (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, wet all year)

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free
  • impeded
  • seasonally waterlogged

Soil texture

  • light
  • medium

Special soil tolerances

  • infertile

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Hyadaphis tataricae Herbivore Adults to genus

Notes on Natural Enemies

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L. morrowii and its hybrids are particularly susceptible to attack by Hyadaphis tataricae (Herman and Davidson, 1997). H. tataricae (European honeysuckle aphid) is an introduced pest to the USA and controls flower and fruit production in some bush honeysuckles (Nyboer, 2007). Heavy infestations may cause branch tips to be deformed and develop witches’ brooms, which may reduce fruit production (Nyboer, 2007). Native ladybird beetles have been noted to control this aphid (Nyboer, 2007).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Natural Dispersal

L. morrowii produces abundant seed but also spreads vegetatively via root sprouts (TexasInvasives.org, 2004).

Vector Transmission (biotic)

The berries of L. morrowii are eaten by birds and mammals, thereby dispersing the seeds (Skibo, 2006; Nyboer, 2007; McCay et al., 2009; Invasive.org, 2018; IPANE, 2018; MA-DACF, 2018). Birds are considered the primary dispersal agent, causing unwanted spread (Missouri Botanical Garden, 2018). In the east of the USA, over 20 species of bird feed on the berries (TexasInvasives.org, 2004).

In Pennsylvania, in the USA, white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) were shown to prefer areas with a high percentage cover of L. morrowii, suggesting that they could play a role in spreading the shrub (Edalgo et al., 2009). However, it has also been shown that white-footed mice (Rose et al., 2014) and other Peromyscus spp. (Shahid et al., 2009) prefer the fruits of native species compared with fruits of L. morrowii.

In the northeast of the USA, white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) show a preference for browsing on L. morrowii compared with some other species investigated, including several native species (Averill et al., 2016). This suggests that the deer could play a role in spreading this species at the expense of some native species (Vellend, 2002; Averill et al., 2016).

Accidental Introduction

Where L. morrowii is deliberately planted, there is a high probability that it will escape into nearby areas and spread.

Intentional Introduction

L. morrowii has been used for a variety of purposes including as an ornamental, wildlife cover/food plant, a hedge plant and for erosion control (Missouri Botanical Garden, 2018).

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Digestion and excretionSeeds eaten by birds and mammals Yes Yes MA-DACF, 2018; Averill et al., 2016
Escape from confinement or garden escape Yes Skibo, 2006; Nyboer, 2007; Invasive.org, 2018; MA-DACF, 2018
Habitat restoration and improvementPlanted in the past as wildlife cover, a wildlife food source and for erosion control Yes Yes Missouri Botanical Garden, 2018
HorticulturePlanted as an ornamental Yes Yes Missouri Botanical Garden, 2018; Invasive.org, 2018; IPANA, 2018; Go Botany, 2018

Economic Impact

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In Indiana, USA, the cost of treatments to control invasive bush honeysuckles (including L. morrowii) was found to be 83-383 USD per acre (Rathfon and Ruble, 2007).

Environmental Impact

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L. morrowii invades open woodlands, old fields and other disturbed sites, spreading rapidly due to seed dispersal by birds and mammals (Invasive.org, 2018). Bush honeysuckles will move into forest understories and dominate wherever there has been disturbance (INPAWS, 2018). It can form a dense understory thicket which restricts native plant growth and tree seedling establishment (Invasive.org, 2018). L. morrowii may also compete by shading out other plants as they develop leaves before some native species, and retain foliage until November (Nyboer, 2007; IPSAWG, undated). Serious infestations can inhibit tree regeneration, essentially stopping forest succession (IPSAWG, undated).

The success of invasive shrubby honeysuckle species on dry, exposed soils with a high pH, has made them a threat to some of northeast Maine’s unique limestone plant communities (UMaine Extension, 2001).

Impact: Biodiversity

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It is suspected that L. morrowii is allelopathic, reducing competition from other plants, including native species (Nyboer, 2007). L. morrowii also hybridizes with another non-native honeysuckle species (e.g. L. tatarica) (Go Botany, 2018). L. x bella is extremely invasive (IPANE, 2018). L. morrowii backcrosses with L. x bella forming a ‘hybrid swarm’ (IPANE, 2018).

Asian bush honeysuckles, including L. morrowii, grow very densely and compete by shading other plants on the forest floor, often leaving nothing but bare soil (IPSAWG, undated). Invasive bush honeysuckles may also compete with native plants for pollinators and so potentially reduce the seed set of natives (Snyder and Kaufman, 2004). The berries of the fruits of L. morrowii do not have high quantities of the fats and nutrients compared to native species, which may affect migrating birds (Snyder and Kaufman, 2004).

In a study of the impact of L. morrowii on the reproductive success of field sparrows (Spizella pusilla), McChesney and Anderson (2015) found that nesting sites surrounded by dense patches of L. morrowii led to reduced nesting success. This resulted in a level of reproductive success that was found to be insufficient to maintain a stable population (McChesney and Anderson, 2015).

When cedar waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum) feed primarily on the berries of L. morrowii, their tail bands change in colour from yellow to orange (Witmer, 1996).

Social Impact

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The berries of L. morrowii are reported to be toxic (Ikeshiro et al., 1992).

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Is a habitat generalist
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Tolerant of shade
  • Highly mobile locally
  • Benefits from human association (i.e. it is a human commensal)
  • Has high reproductive potential
Impact outcomes
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Modification of successional patterns
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Allelopathic
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition - shading
  • Competition - smothering
  • Hybridization
  • Interaction with other invasive species
  • Rapid growth
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Difficult/costly to control

Uses

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L. morrowii is used as an ornamental plant. In the past, it has also been used to provide wildlife food and cover and as a hedge plant and a shrub for erosion control (Missouri Botanical Garden, 2018). However, sales of this species have reduced in recent years due to its invasive nature (Missouri Botanical Garden, 2018).

Uses List

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Environmental

  • Erosion control or dune stabilization
  • Wildlife habitat

Ornamental

  • garden plant

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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L. morrowii is a bush honeysuckle, and so is a stout, erect shrub, whereas species native to the USA, including grape honeysuckle (L. reticulata), yellow honeysuckle (L. flava), and red honeysuckle (L. dioica), are woody vine-like twining species (Hoffman and Kearns, 1997).

L. morrowii is similar to L. canadensis (fly-honeysuckle), also native to the USA, although this has a solid pith, hairless leaves, tubular flowers without long splayed petals and oblong reddish fruits (MA-DACF, 2018). L. morrowii is also similar to Diervilla lonicera, L. maackii and L. tatarica. D. lonicera has a solid pith compared to the hollow pith of L. morrowii, and its leaves have fine teeth and are long-pointed at the tip (MA-DACF, 2018). L. maackii has peduncles shorter than 5 mm, compared to 5-15 mm in L. morrowii. It also has leaf blades that taper abruptly to a narrow point, whereas in L. morrowii the leaf blades are less pointed at the apex (Go Botany, 2018). L. tatarica can be distinguished from L. morrowii, as the former does not have hairs on the under surface of leaves and has an inflorescence stalk of 15-25 mm (compared with 5-15 mm in L. morrowii) (Go Botany, 2018). In contrast to L. morrowii, L. tatarica has pink to white flowers that do not turn yellow with age (Snyder and Kaufman, 2004). L. morrowii hybridizes with L. tatarica to produce L. x bella Zabel. This hybrid is morphologically variable but usually displays a pink (fading yellow) corolla that is scarcely saccate at the base, sparsely pubescent branchlets and leaf blades, and peduncles 5-15 mm long.

Prevention and Control

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Prevention

SPS Measures

L. morrowii is categorized as a noxious weed in 46 states of the USA (USDA-NRCS, 2018).

According to the USDA Plant Database (USDA-NRCS, 2018), L. morrowii is classed as invasive and is banned in Connecticut. It is prohibited in Massachusetts, is a prohibited invasive species in New Hampshire, and is categorized as a Class B noxious weed in Vermont, USA (USDA-NRCS, 2018). Go Botany (2018) report it as invasive and prohibited in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts (where the hybrid L. x bella is also prohibited), New Hampshire and Vermont, and it is classed as invasive in Rhode Island.

Along with its hybrid, L. x bella, it is ranked as a severe threat in Pennsylvania (PA-DCNR, 2018). In Kentucky, L. morrowii is also ranked as a severe threat (KY-EPPC, 2013). Both L. morrowii and hybrid L. x bella are on the alert list for Tennessee (TE-EPPC, 2009), where they are considered pests and are not permitted to be propagated, sold or released within the state of Tennessee (Tennessee Department of Agriculture, 2018). Both L. morrowii and L. x bella are restricted in Wisconsin (WDNR, 2018), which means they cannot be transported, transferred, or introduced. Possession is allowed and control is encouraged, but not required. The Midwest Invasive Plant Network also recognize this species as invasive in Missouri and the Midwest and recommend that it should not be planted (Missouri Botanical Garden, 2018).

Control

Control of L. morrowii may require one or more of the following: prescribed burning, hand pulling of seedlings, cutting and herbicide treatments (Nyboer, 2007).

Physical/Mechanical Control

Small L. morrowii plants and seedlings can be pulled up by the roots when the soil is moist (MA-DACF, 2018). The entire root needs to be removed, or resprouting will occur (Nyboer, 2007). Larger plants can be cut but, again, resprouting will occur unless the root is removed (MA-DACF, 2018). Physical hand removal of small plants and grubbing out of large plants are methods that should not be used in sensitive habitats (Hoffman and Kearns, 1997; Nyboer, 2007). Open soil and remaining root stocks will result in rapid reinvasion or resprouting of honeysuckles and other exotics (Nyboer, 2007). Soil should be tamped down to discourage further establishment of seedlings (Hoffman and Kearns, 1997). After clearing L. morrowii from an area, re-invasion may be reduced by planting the area with native species (Hoffman and Kearns, 1997; Love and Anderson, 2009). Mowing may prevent seedlings from establishing, but repeated heavy damage over several years is required to kill established shrubs (MA-DACF, 2018). In fire-adapted communities, prescribed burning in spring kills seedlings and the tops of mature L. morrowii plants, although this may need to be repeated annually for up to five years due to resprouting (Nyboer, 2007).

In trials comparing four control methods for L. morrowii in Pennsylvania, USA, it was found that foliar applications of glyphosphate and mechanical removal were more effective at reducing shrub numbers than cutting and stump applications of glyphosphate (Love and Anderson, 2009). Spring treatments, particularly cut and mechanical treatments, produced plots with higher herbaceous community quality (Love and Anderson, 2009). It is suggested that follow-up treatments, control of white-tailed deer (O. virginianus), and planting of native seeds and saplings should also be used to increase the establishment of native plants (Love and Anderson, 2009).

Biological Control

Goats and sheep browse L. morrowii (MA-DACF, 2018).

Chemical Control

Herbicides are effective as foliar applications (2% glyphosate or 3-5% triclopyr solution), cut-stump application (20-25% glyphosate or triclopyr solution applied immediately after cutting), or basal bark application (20-25% glyphosate or triclopyr ester) (MA-DACF, 2018).

L. morrowii stems can be cut at the base with brushcutters, chainsaws or hand-tools, and a solution of 20% glyphosphate can be applied to the cut stump with a sprayer or by wiping with a sponge applicator (Nyboer, 2007). Two cuts per year (one in early spring and one in early autumn are recommended, and if they are not followed with herbicide treatment, vigorous sprouting will occur when the plant comes out of dormancy (Hoffman and Kearns, 1997). Application in the late summer, autumn or during the dormant season appears to be effective (Nyboer, 2007).

Triclopyr formulated for water dilution is not effective, although when formulated for dilution in diesel fuel it can be used on cut stumps throughout the year, with winter application proving to be more effective (Hoffman and Kearns, 1997). In trials in Connecticut, USA, triclopyr treatment reduced the number and length of sprouts in cut stumps of L. morrowii (Mervosh and Gumbart, 2015). In the same trials, glyphosphate completely prevented sprouting.

Ecosystem Restoration

Modeling techniques are being developed that will allow land managers to prioritize invasive shrubs (including L. morrowii, L. tatarica and L. x bella) for removal, and that can determine replanting sizes for native plants (Hassett and McGee, 2017).

Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs

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There is a lack of information about specific threats to endangered native species. Information about the use of specific biological control agents is also lacking.

References

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Principal Source

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Draft datasheet under review

Contributors

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03/06/18 Original text by:

Vicki Cottrell, Consultant, UK

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