Let me start by saying that I have a love-hate relationship with honeysuckle… Amur Honeysuckle to be specific (since it’s invading my yard…I can hear them growing right now). And now I will attempt to tell you why.
I’m fond of the plant for several reasons. The first one being the awesome smell of the flowers during the short period of time they are in bloom. It really is a nice smell, I mean hey.. there’s plenty of artificially honeysuckle-scented things out and about so it must be a good smell.. right? Anyways, the second reason I like this plant is kind of odd. This honeysuckle is usually one of the first shrub to get leaves in the early spring. I like that because it’s like some sort of premature “hang in there.. spring is coming” kind of thing.
That very thing (the early leafing) is actually one of the major problems with this plant. First you need to know that this plant does not belong here. It is an impostor from Asia that has since been naturalized. Now, back to the leafing… since this plant is not native, that little spring head start it gets really messes with the native ecosystem.Once the leaves get full, the basically act to shade out the sunlight from anything else that might be trying to grow underneath. It’s a problem that gets exponentially worse every year.
The way that they spread is pretty interesting, although not that uncommon with fruit bearing plants. The berries (shown above), which contain the seeds, are consumed by animals (birds mostly), carried around while being passed through their digestive system, and then dropped (most likely on my windshield…or head) at a new location to spread its invasive wrath.