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Lonicera maackii

Lonicera maackii

Lonicera maackii, the Amur honeysuckle, is a species of honeysuckle in the family Caprifoliaceae that is native to temperate western Asia, specifically in northern and western China south to Yunnan, Mongolia, Primorsky Krai in southeastern Russia, Korea, and, albeit rare there, central and northern Honshū, Japan.

Lonicera maackii is enumerated as an endangered species in Japan. It has escaped from cultivation and naturalized in New Zealand and the eastern United States; in the woodlands of the latter it is a significant invasive species.

The plant is a large, deciduous shrub that grows a maximum of 6 m tall with stems of a maximum of 10 cm in diameter. The leaves are oppositely arranged, 5–9 cm long and 2–4 cm broad, with an entire margin, and with at least some rough pubescence. The flowers are produced in pairs, and commonly several pairs are produced together in clusters; they are 2 cm long, have two lips, begin white and later turn yellow or pale orange in color; they bloom from middle of spring to early summer. The fruit is a bright red to black, semi-translucent berry, 2–6 mm in diameter, that contains numerous small seeds; they ripen in autumn and are eaten by birds, which disperse the seeds in their droppings.

It grows rapidly and prefers shady habitats such as woodland understories, neglected urban areas, and fence rows. It can form very dense thickets.


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