how to identify invasive honeysuckle

Asked September 30, 2020, 10:40 AM EDT

I have a lovely coral honeysuckle that blooms a lot now that I know to prune it. Imagine my surprise when I saw a clump of yellow-white blooms amongst the highest branches ! I thought I could tell the invader by the leaves, but not all the coral honeysuckle vines have blooms with those fused leaves. Is there a distinction between the leaves/vines that I can use to ferret out the invasive honeysuckle ?

Baltimore County Maryland

1 Response

A bird may have deposited some seeds nearby if it visited to feed on the Trumpet Honeysuckle berries at some point. It is an ironic (or frustrating) occurrence that the weedy Honeysuckle is growing up through the native. Since, as you have noticed, leaf shape can vary some with stem age, growth stage (flowering or not), and even light exposure, it may be simplest to trace the invasive Honeysuckle stem(s) back to their origin and trim them there. This is perhaps tedious but the only way to be sure of what you're removing. When older, bark differences between the two may be more distinctive, but at this point, they're likely too young for this and it is certainly not desirable to wait that long before removing the interloper.

If helpful, here is a gallery of the various Lonicera that are found in Maryland (click on each species for its own images):