Bush honeysuckle refers to several species; the most common to Kentucky is the Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii). This native to northern China, Korea and parts of Japan was introduced to the U.S. in 1897. Escapes from  ornamental plantings were recorded in the 1920s and promoted for conservation and wildlife uses in the 60s and 70s. This effort coupled with ornamental plantings led to range expansion from the Midwest to areas south and east.

Bush honeysuckle is spread by seed. Amur flowers in June, and the white and yellowish flowers can result in more than 1 million red seeds on mature (25-year-old), 20-foot tall plants. The seeds are consumed and spread by some species of songbirds only after other more nutritious native foods are gone. As with many invasive species, bush honeysuckle can grow and thrive over a wide range of which it can be confused, and all shrub-sized honeysuckle are exotic and invasive.


What's the risk to my woodlands?
Because bush honeysuckle can grow under moderate light conditions and tolerate a range of soils, all of Kentucky is at risk from these species. The greatest occurrence of Amur honeysuckle is in northern and central Kentucky. Once thought to be restricted to central Kentucky soils, Amur and other species are starting to be found in eastern and western Kentucky. It is now believed that it can and will spread throughout the state.


How do I control it?

For more control methods, click the Kentucky Woodlands Magazine article link to the right.

Bush Honeysuckle

KWM Article