Morrow’s Bush Honeysuckle

Biological Name:

Lonicera morrowii

Natural Habitat:

Morrow’s-Bush-Honeysuckle is a type of shrub that is native to North America. It can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests, fields, and along roadsides.


Morrow’s-bush-honeysuckle is a type of flowering plant that is commonly found in fields and other grassy areas. It is a member of the Caprifoliaceae family which also includes plants such as honeysuckles and elderberries. Morrow’s-bush-honeysuckle is an annual or perennial plant that produces small white or yellow flowers and clusters of seeds. The plant is often used as a cover crop to improve soil health and suppress weeds. It is also known for its ability to tolerate a wide range of growing conditions including wet or dry soils. In some areas Morrow’s-bush-honeysuckle is considered a weed because of its ability to invade cultivated areas and cause allergies and other health problems.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: How poisonous is Morrow’s honeysuckle?
A: There is no danger in sucking or drinking nectar from honeysuckle flowers. Eating a few honeysuckle berries will likely only result in a bit of stomach upset. If large quantities of potentially poisonous berries are ingested, you may experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and rapid heartbeat.

Q: Is Bush honeysuckle toxic to dogs?
A: Yes, honeysuckle is poisonous to dogs. Honeysuckle plants contain cyanogenic glycosides and carotenoids, which can cause severe symptoms in dogs, including vomiting, irregular heartbeat, diarrhea, gastrointestinal upset, and extreme thirst.

Q: Is honeysuckle poisonous to touch?
A: Symptoms: This plant is not considered poisonous. Contact dermatitis may occur in sensitive individuals. Warning: Seek medical attention if exposure results in symptoms.

Q: Why is honeysuckle a problem?
A: Dense thickets of vegetation prevent the germination and growth of many native species, eventually preventing the replacement of understory shrubs and trees. Honeysuckle opens the door for many other invasive species to invade, further decreasing the natural diversity of forests or natural areas.

Q: What problems does honeysuckle cause?
A: Problem: Japanese honeysuckle damages forest communities by out competing native vegetation for light, below- ground resources, and by changing forest structure. The vines overtop adjacent vegetation by twining about, and completely covering, small trees and shrubs.

Q: Is Morrow’s honeysuckle invasive?
A: Morrow’s Honeysuckle (Lonicera morrowii) is an invasive plant species managed at Acadia National Park. It is often grouped with other species of invasive honeysuckles (L. tatarica, L. x bella), often called Exotic Bush Honeysuckles since they are difficult to distinguish from one another.

Q: Why is the bush honeysuckle such a problem?
A: Bush Honeysuckles thrive in the Midwest climate. Although these plants may smell and look remarkable, they significantly harm the ecosystems in which they inhabit. The honeysuckle plant competes with native plants for pollinators, which results in fewer seeds germinated in native species (Breath, n.d.).

Q: Is Morrow’s honeysuckle toxic to dogs?
A: All parts of the honeysuckle, including the vine, flower, and berry, are poisonous to dogs, who can not properly digest the plant’s toxic properties, consisting of cyanogenic glycosides and carotenoids.

Q: How do I get rid of Morrow’s honeysuckle?
A: Young plants can be pulled by hand. Mature plants can be removed by using a weed wrench tool or by repeated cutting.

Q: Is Morrow’s honeysuckle poisonous to humans?
A: Predators. Birds and small mammals feed on the fruit of Morrow’s honeysuckle, which is poisonous to humans.

Q: Where is the best place to plant a honeysuckle vine?
A: Choose a site with moist, well-drained soil where your honeysuckle plant will receive full sun. Although honeysuckles don’t mind some shade, they will flower more profusely in a sunny location.

Q: Will honeysuckle come back every year?
A: Honeysuckle is a perennial plant, meaning it will come back each year. With proper care, you should be able to enjoy your honeysuckle for many years. Some varieties can live an average of 20 years.

Q: Why is Morrow’s honeysuckle invasive?
A: Morrow’s honeysuckle forms dense thickets and outcompetes and displaces native shrubs, trees and herbaceous plants. Its dense growth can impede reforestation efforts. It invades open woodlands, old fields and other disturbed sites and can spread rapidly with help from birds and mammals which disperse its seeds.

Q: Should I remove bush honeysuckle?
A: MASKING THE VIEW: Honeysuckle shrubs hide an unwanted view of the forest floor. However, these invasive species will continue to grow and take over the area. It is best to remove them. Grow Native: Fall is a good time to remove honeysuckle from your tree line.

Q: Does honeysuckle spread easily?
A: Bush honeysuckles invade quickly and outcompete native plants. Birds and small animals eat the berries and deposit the seeds elsewhere, spreading these highly invasive weeds. Invasive plants such as this nonnative bush honeysuckle can cause problems for native wildlife species and for humans.

Q: Is Morrow’s honeysuckle fragrant?
A: The grayish-green leaves are opposite, elliptic to oblong, 2-3 in. (5.1-7.6 cm) long and hairy underneath. Often it is one of the first shrubs to leaf out in the spring. The fragrant paired flowers are tubular, white to cream-colored, 0.75 in.

Q: Which is the strongest smelling honeysuckle?
A: The most fragrant honeysuckle varieties are the woodbine honeysuckles (Lonicera x peryclimenum). These include such varieties as ‘Belgica’ with violet and yellow flowers, ‘Serotina’ in shades of pink and cream, ‘Graham Thomas’ with yellow blooms.

Q: What is the prettiest honeysuckle?
A: Lonicera periclymenum ‘Graham Thomas’ ‘Quite possibly the best of all honeysuckle specimens, this deciduous climber has creamy-yellow flowers, whose delicious scent lingers on the air all summer,’ says Hazel. ‘These are followed by handsome red berries.

Q: What is the sweetest honeysuckle?
A: Lonicera fragrantissima Fragrant honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima), also known as the sweetest honeysuckle, is a bushy deciduous shrub native to eastern Asia. It was first introduced to North America in the late 1800’s and has been planted widely as an ornamental shrub for homes and for wildlife as food and cover.

About the author

Samuel is a gardening professional and enthusiast who has spent over 20 years advising homeowners and farm owners on weed identification, prevention and removal. He has an undergraduate degree in plant and soil science from Michigan State University.