If you're walking in a public park in the springtime and smell that sweet honeysuckle smell, you are likely smelling Japanese honeysuckle, Lonicera japonica. Unfortunately, this is yet another Asian invasive plant that likes to take over disturbed sites, especially fence rows and roadsides. It is also widely planted as an ornamental in gardens across the US and is now found growing wild in all but 7 states.
The vines form dense mats, shading out plants below and girdling saplings. It can grow up to 80'!
Manual pulling while the soil is damp can be an effective removal method, but all roots must be removed. For this reason, mowing, grazing, or burning is ineffective. Herbicides are another option.
We do have a great native plant that you can use in your garden instead of Japanese honeysuckle - Trumpet or Coral Honeysuckle / Lonicera sempervirens. Be careful when reading those plant tags to make sure you have really found the native version! Check out last year's #nativeplantsseries post to find out more.
Sources: DCNR, Invasive Plants Atlas
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