Japanese honeysuckle (Illegal to sell in Illinois)

The white flowers of Japanese honeysuckle turn yellow as they age.

Japanese honeysuckle is an attractive plant, but under the Illinois Exotic Weed Act, it cannot be sold in Illinois.  It is also considered invasive in many areas.  The information provided here is more for identification purposes rather than a guide to plant selection.   This plant is NOT recommended.

Botanical name:

Lonicera japonica

All Common Names:

Japanese honeysuckle

Family (English):


Family (Botanic):


Tree or Plant Type:

  • Ground cover,
  • Vine

Native Locale:

  • Non-native

Size Range:

  • Large plant (more than 24 inches),
  • Low-growing plant (under 6 inches)

Light Exposure:

  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily),
  • Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)

Hardiness Zones:

  • Zone 5 (Chicago),
  • Zone 6,
  • Zone 7,
  • Zone 8,
  • Zone 9

Flower Color & Fragrance:

  • Fragrant,
  • White,
  • Yellow

Shape or Form:

  • Vining

Growth Rate:

  • Fast

More Information:

Size and Method of Climbing

Japanese honeysuckle can grow 30 feet or more vertically, but can completely cover the ground in large areas as well.  It is a twining vine.

Disease, pests, and problems

Japanese honeysuckle is an invasive plant in many areas and it is illegal to sell in Illinois.

Native geographic location and habitat

Native to Japan, Korea and China

Leaf description

The opposite leaves are 2 to 3 inches long and green to dark green.  Leaves are oval to oblong, with entire edges and hairs on both upper and lower surfaces.  In northern climates, the leaves are deciduous and in the south they are evergreen to semi-evergreen.

Flower description

The white flowers are irregularly shaped and tubular.  As they age, they fade to yellow.  They are borne in pairs.  Flowers are very fragrant.

Fruit description

Fruit are black berries.



Location of Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle (Illegal to sell in Illinois)) at the Arboretum

We do not seem to have this in our living collection.