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Book cover - Common Weeds of New ZealandAn Illustrated Guide to
Common Weeds
of New Zealand


Lonicera japonica
Japanese honeysuckle


Reproduced from
Common Weeds of New Zealand
by Ian Popay, Paul Champion & Trevor James
ISBN 0 473 09760 5
by kind permission of the
New Zealand Plant Protection Society

Publication or other use of images or descriptive text on these pages is unauthorised unless written permission is obtained from the authors and publisher.
Appropriate acknowledgement of the publication Common Weeds of New Zealand must always be given.

Available from Touchwood Books

Lonicera japonica - Japanese honeysuckle

Sweet-scented, evergreen (semi-evergreen in cold districts), woody, rampant perennial climber twining clockwise, smothering all vegetation beneath. Very attractive, sweetly-scented, tubular white flowers. Oval leaves in opposite pairs.

  • Flowers White, ageing to yellow, tinged pink, tubular, two-lipped flowers about 4 cm long. Usually in pairs in the leaf axils. Flowers very sweet-scented. Flowers Sep-May.
  • Fruit Glossy-black, egg-shaped berries 5-7 mm in diameter. Seeds about 2 mm in diameter.
  • Leaves In opposite pairs, short-stalked or stalkless. Early spring-produced leaves are waved or lobed, summer leaves are entire, oval up to 12 cm long by 6 cm wide.
  • Stems Purplish, hairy, very long, tough, wiry.


Fences, hedges, trees, banks, forest margins and clearings.


Common to abundant throughout NI, especially in Auckland Province; less common and decreasing southwards in SI. Originally from east Asia.


Very attractive climber when flowering. Originally an escape from cultivation. Listed on the National Pest Plant Accord (see Introduction for details).

Derivation of botanical name

Lonicera after Adam Lonitzer, 16th cent. German botanist; japonica (Lat.) = Japanese.

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Last updated: July 13, 2014