Japanese honeysuckle

Lonicera japonica

Japanese honeysuckle

Japanese honeysuckle

Legal Status: Unwanted Organism - DOC
Status in New Zealand: Established
Organism: Land plants

This pest is in New Zealand.


This plant is a vigorous evergreen (semievergreen in cold districts) climber. Young stems are purple and hairy. As the plant ages the stems become woody. Stems are long and tough and twine clockwise. Leaves (3-12 x 2-6 cm) sit in opposite pairs on the stems. Upper surfaces of leaves are shiny dark-green (occasionally yellowish) and lighter-green on the underside. Pairs of two-lipped sweetly scented tubular white flowers (2-5 cm long) that age to yellow are produced from September to May. Flowers are followed by egg-shaped glossy black berries (5-7 mm in diameter).


The vine climbs over and smothers most plants from the ground to the medium canopy. It can cause canopy collapse and subsequent invasion of grasses or ground vines. It also provides support for faster-growing weedy vines (for example, morning glory and mothplant). Most spread is by the movement of stem fragments, such as the dumping of garden rubbish, rather than by seed.

What to do

Contact your regional council to determine the status of this species and responsibility for control and/or advice on control.

Useful Resources

Page last updated: 22 April 2016