Lonicera japonica Thunb.

Lonicera japonica plant

Family - Caprifoliaceae

Stems - Twining, trailing, thin, sometimes rooting at nodes, reddish to brownish or purplish, with dense spreading pubescence in the younger portions, often with thin woody bark on the lower stems.

Leaves - Opposite, sessile or petiolate. Petioles to 1cm long, pubescent. Blades variously pubescent above and below(but typically densely pubescent), entire, to +7cm long, 3cm broad, ovate-oblong, acute, rounded to cordate at base.

Lonicera japonica leaf

Inflorescence - Pair of flowers terminating axillary peduncle, subtended by foliaceous bracts. Peduncles to -4cm long.

Flowers - Corolla white, drying to yellow, bilabiate. Corolla tube to 2.8cm long, glandular pubescent. Upper lip 4-lobed. Lobes obtuse, 8-9mm long, 3-4mm broad. Bottom lip single-lobed, tp +/-2.5cm long, 3-4mm broad, slightly recurved. Stamens 4, adnate at apex of corolla tube. Filaments to 2.7cm long, glabrous, white. Style white, glabrous, 5mm long. Stigma green, capitate, subbiglobose. Calyx tube 2.8mm long, green, pubescent, 5-lobed. Lobes acute, ciliate, .4mm long. Scales subtending calyx tube 2, long ciliate-margined, 1.1mm long and broad, pubescent. Fruits to 8mm in diameter, globose, black, fleshy.

Lonicera japonica flowers

Lonicera japonica fruitsFruits.

Flowering - May - July.

Habitat - Cultivated and escaped into open woods, low woods, thickets, roadsides, railroads.

Origin - Native to Asia.

Other info. - This is an aggressive vine to say the least. If you stand in one spot to long it will grow around your legs ;)
It persists well after the native flora has gone dormant for the winter. The attractive flowers are fragrant, plentiful and produce much nectar. Many fewer fruits are produced than flowers.

Photographs taken at the Kansas City Zoo, 7-8-99, and in Brown Summit, NC., 10-12-02 and 5-16-03.


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