Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

Support the plant database you love!

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Sunday - November 21, 2004

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Invasiveness of non-native Lonicera fragrantissima in Austin
Answered by: Stephen Brueggerhoff and Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

A couple of years ago I mistakenly bought Lonicera fragrantissima (winter bush honeysuckle), thinking it was native. I have since discovered that it is native to China and considered invasive in at least some parts of the U.S. Is it invasive here like Lonicera japonica? Should I remove it? Are birds likely to transport the seed to where it is more invasive?

ANSWER:

Several states that are members of the Southeast Exotic Pest Plants Council (SE-EPPC) rank Lonicera fragrantissima as invasive. Tennessee gives it a Rank 1 status. Rank 1 indicates a "Severe Threat", i.e., an "exotic plant species that possess characteristics of invasive species and spread easily into native plant communities and displace native vegetation; includes species that are or could become widespread in Tennessee". South Carolina and Virginia list it as a C-ranked species which "generally do not affect ecosystem processes but may alter plant community composition by out-competing one or more native plant species. They often establish in severely disturbed areas. The disturbance may be natural or human origin, such as ice-storm damage, wind-throw, or road construction. These species spread slowly or not at all from disturbed sites."

You can see its taxonomy with distribution maps at the USDA Plants Database. You can see descriptions and suggested control measures for Lonicera fragrantissima and other bush honeysuckles provided by the National Park Service and U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the USDA Forest Service, and the Plant Conservation Alliance.
 

More Non-Natives Questions

How Can I Tell an Invasive Thistle from a Native
May 01, 2012 - Mr Smarty Plants, I have some thistles coming up in my yard. I'd like to keep them if they are native, but not if they are invasive or non-native. How can I tell? My yard is a wild area in West Lak...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native gardenias in San Ramon, CA
July 11, 2009 - I have a Gardenia tree planted in my front yard that gets shade and sun. It is dropping leaves and the leaves that are left are yellow. I had been watering it every day, but decreased that to every ot...
view the full question and answer

New growth on Amur Maple turning black in McPherson, Kansas.
June 29, 2010 - Re: Amur Maple bushes Approximately 2 yrs old, 4 ft tall. New growth at the end of some branches is turning black. Plants are mulched with grass clippings. We live in Kansas. Thanks for any info....
view the full question and answer

Saving non-native crape myrtles watered with salt water in McAllen TX
May 27, 2010 - I have a crape myrtle plants that were accidentally watered with salt water from a purifier that was drained. They are dying and turning brown. What can I do to revive them?
view the full question and answer

Will frozen non-native agapanthus come back from freeze in Austin?
February 06, 2011 - I don't know if its a native plant, but my agapanthus got frozen in our recent cold weather. Will they come back; should I trim off the tops?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.