Lonicera tatarica seeds, Tatarian honeysuckle
Lonicera tatarica is commonly referred to as Tatarian honeysuckle. Other common names of Lonicera tatarica include bush honeysuckle and honeysuckle. Lonicera tatarica is native to Russia and central Asia. However, it has been naturalized in the USA and is now widespread and often considered a noxious weed. It was introduced to North America as an ornamental plant.
Lonicera tatarica is a bushy plant and grows to 3 meters high it has oval or rounded leaves which are 3cm to 6cm long. The flowers grow in pair and have different colours ranging from white to pink to crimson red. Each flower is about 1.5 cm long. It has a red or orange berry that is shiny. The plant seeds are spread easily by birds and animals that consume them. The plant grows as a shrub and has many branches. The branches are long and arching. They divide to smaller leafy branches that form an irregularly rounded crown. The branches are hollow and fragile. Mature branches are grey. The bark often peels off in vertical strips. Young shoots are green to reddish brown. Lonicera tatarica has leaves that are opposite smooth and oval in shape and hairless. It has a fibrous root system.
The flowers of Lonicera tatarica are pollinated by the bees, ruby throated humming bird and the humming bird moths. Flowers grow in the axils of the leaves and are in pairs. They grow from May to June. The plant is adapted to most soils. Most exotic honey suckles can create dense thickets in the natural environment. In their native area, they grow as vines and not as shrubs.
It is used for a fragrance for its sweet aroma. The seeds are not good for consumption by humans. Honeysuckle has been used for medicinal purposes. However, leaves of the honeysuckles contain saponis which can be dangerous when taken in large quantities. It provides good shade for various birds and animals. In other areas such as Illinois, the shrub is not cultivated because it is an invasive species and therefore reduces biodiversity. It invades some places such as old fields, open woodlands and disturbed sites if not checked. In areas where it grows naturally the plant is good for biodiversity.
It easily grows in undisturbed habitat. It can be grown in part-shade, disturbed soil, fence rows, forests, woodland edges, thickets, landscape plantings.