Lonicera tatarica (Tatarian Honeysuckle) - photos and description



Ovaries partly fused, inner bractlets about half as long as ovaries.

Ovaries partly fused, inner bractlets about half as long as ovaries.



General: Ornamental shrub escaped from cultivation, flowers numerous and showy, new growth has hollow stems. Invasive, this plant has been declared a noxious weed in some states (e.g. Minnesota) and yet is still sold as an ornamental by nurseries in Saskatchewan.

Flowers: Flowers numerous, grow in pairs, white to dark pink in colour. Flowers are two-lipped, the upper lip with 4 lobes, the lower a single lobe. We measured a flower at 20 mm to 30 mm diameter, and 15 mm long. The ovaries are partly fused. There are two sets of bractlets, the outer pair are opposite, linear about 5 mm long, the inner pair are tiny, ovate, partly enclose the ovaries, about 1 mm long. We measured the ovaries at 2 mm long.

Leaves: Leaves opposite, cordate or truncate, with the margins somewhat wavy, oblong to elliptical. The leaves nearly glabrous only having very fine hairs on the margins and base of the leaf. We measured a leaf at 55 mm long by 25 mm wide.

Height: Height listed in Budd's Flora to 3 m, we measured plants to 185 cm tall.

Habitat: Open woods and stream banks.

Abundance: Occasional.

Origin: Introduced.

Similar species: The SKCDC lists 3 non-native Lonicera spp. for SK, I keyed these plants to be Lonicera tatarica. The others listed are L. morrowii, and L. x bella (across between L. tatarica and L. morrowii). Various keys available online distinguish between the plants by flower colour, hairiness of leaves, and size of inner bractlets compared to the ovaries. L. tatarica can have dark pink flowers, nearly glabrous leaves, and inner bractlets no more than half the length of the ovaries. The other plants have white to light pink flowers, pubescent leaves, and longer inner bractlets.

This seemed to be a useful key of the invasive Lonicera: Michagan flora online

When and where photographed: Photos taken June 5th and 8th, along hiking path in weedy aspen forest, Condie Nature Refuge, about 25 km northwest of our home in Regina, SK.