From:Raleigh, NC Region: Southeast Topic: Poisonous Plants Title: Digestive distress from eating Lonicera sempervirens Answered by: Nan Hampton
A friend of mine ate Lonicera sempervirens and it caused a burning sensation in his stomach. What may have caused this sensation?
Although I couldn't find any sources that listed Coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) as toxic, several other species in the Genus Lonicera are mildly toxic. Ingesting Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica), native to eastern Asia but now widespread in North America, can cause various symptoms including vomiting, respiratory failure, and convulsions when eaten in large quantities. The toxic components in the vine are saponic and cyanogenic glycosides and the berries contain carotenoids. The nectar, however, can be sipped from the flowers with no ill effects. European fly honeysuckle (Lonicera xylosteum), native to Europe but also widespread in North America, causes vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pains. Mice injected with berry extract often died. The toxic component appears to be saponin. according to the Canadian Poisonous Plants Database. Tartarian honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica), native to Asia and southern Russia, is cited in European literature as being toxic.
It is likely that Lonicera sempervirens also contains saponins and these are what caused your friend's gastric distress.
More Poisonous Plants Questions
Wintering over an Angel Trumpet in Kentucky September 20, 2008 - I have an Angel Trumpet on my deck in LaGrange,Ky -Can I plant it out in the yard now or do I have to take it in the house for the winter- It is 5 feet tall and I have no room in the house! Help!-Than... view the full question and answer
Is Texas ragwort (Senecio ampullaceus) toxic to livestock? May 05, 2009 - Mr. Smarty Plants,
I have a question related to Texas Ragwort (Senecio ampullaceus):
I am concerned about toxicity to livestock as well as interested in natural control methods.
I was recentl... view the full question and answer
Getting rid of wild plums (Prunus angustifolia) July 28, 2008 - When I bought my land, there was a humongous thicket of wild plums (Prunus angustifolia) approx 10 ft high and covering 5-10 acres. I raise goats, and have known that wild plums (the leaves) can cause... view the full question and answer
Puppy-friendly privacy screen in Montana November 02, 2012 - I need some puppy-friendly short(< 30') privacy from the gigantic windows of my next door neighbor. But- there are power lines above the area that I needed to plant! I had planned on an aspen grove, ... view the full question and answer
Eliminating skunk cabbage in Troy, NY May 19, 2009 - My yard is overgrown with skunk cabbage. My question is how do I get rid of it? view the full question and answer