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Woody > Lonicera > Lonicera maackii > Lonicera maackii

Lonicera maackii

Amur Honeysuckle

Origin:  China including the Amur and Ussuri River valleys. It is also found in both Korea and isolated parts of Japan. Introduced into cultivation in the United States in 1875.
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Lonicera mackii produces beautiful white flowers in the early spring followed by clusters of attractive red berries in early autumn. It, if trained can produce a rather dramatic and attractive plant however it should be noted that it is extremely invasive and is on many states and provinces 'hit lists'.

Michael Pascoe, NDP., ODH., CLT., MSc. (Plant Conservation)


Shrub (deciduous)
USDA Hardiness Zone
3 - 8
Canadian Hardiness Zone
4 - 9
Temperature (°C)
Temperature (°F)
4 - 6 m
3 - 4 m
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
General Description
An attractive but invasive plant that has white flowers in May to June followed by beautiful red berries from September onwards, often persisting until January. If pruned its form can be quite dramatic and open with coarse, rigged, light tan coloured bark.
Lonicera mackii may be used as an informal hedge, screening, and as a single ornamental in the landscape however it should be used with caution since it is easily spread into natural areas via birds ingesting the attractive berries. Of note is it banned in both Connecticut and Massachusetts and is considered a major problem in natural areas in Tennessee.
It is a plant that is tolerant of a wide range of site conditions except where the soil is constantly moist. It thrives in partial shade to full sun and is like many of its kin quite an adaptable species. Caution should be exercised in its cultivation; it should not be grown near natural areas or where birds may carry seed into such areas. Well suited to planting in highway medians where is potential for escape is limited by fast moving automobiles.
A rounded to arching crown, becoming open branched at maturity.
ID Characteristic
A multiple stemmed shrub with clusters of 2 - 4 red berries from September onwards, often persisting into the early winter months; very attractive in fruit.
As with most Lonicera species it can be prone to a host of insect and disease problems including leaf spot, powdery mildew and leaf blight. It is also prone to aphids, woolly honeysuckle sawfly, four-lined plant bug, plant hopper, green house whitefly, flea beetle, looper caterpillar, long tail mealy bug and the fall webworm.
Floodplains and open woodlands near the edges in the central and northeastern region of China including the Amur and Ussuri River valleys. It is also found in similar habitats in both Korea and isolated parts of Japan.
Bark/Stem Description
The light grey to tan coloured bark becomes more fissured and rigged with age; quite attractive. Often water sprouts may originate from main limbs.
Flower/Leaf Bud Description
The lateral buds a sharply conical to 1 cm in length and are found at a 45° angle to the leaf nodes, there may be from 1-3 apical buds clustered at the branch ends.
Leaf Description
The leaves are simple, opposite and are dark green adaxial and light green abaxial The leaf tip is elliptic in shape with a lanceolate apice. Leaves are 5 – 7.5 cm long and 1.25 – 4 cm wide. Autumn colouration is insignificant, often being a mucky yellow-green.
Flower Description
The flowers, borne in axillary pairs in spring are 2.54 cm long with a white corolla that turns yellow with age.
Fruit Description
Orbicular berries, to 6 mm, found in axillary pairs turning bright red in September and often persisting through the winter months. Birds often feed on them and distribute them at some distance from the parent plant.
Colour Description
Its main features are its attractive white to yellow flowers followed by the dark red berries. Bark is alight grey to tan colour while autumn colour is somewhat insignificant being a mucky yellow-green.
Texture Description
Medium texture in the foliage and medium to fine in winter.
Notable Specimens
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Burlington, Ontario, Canada ( at the top end of the rock garden).
Propagate via hardwood cuttings rooted in sand, roots quite easily. Via seed expect some dormancy, current research has demonstrated that upwards of 50% of sown seeds germinate without a cold period while the remainder germinated after a cold period. Regardless given its status as an invasive species germination if one wished should not be a problem.