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In spring, because they leaf out so early, bush honeysuckles steal light from native plants, such as spring wildflowers and a variety of germinating seeds, which need a sunny forest floor in spring in order to flower, fruit, and gather energy for the next year. They also compete for soil moisture and nutrients. they may produce a chemical that inhibits the growth of native plants.
Amur honeysuckle (L. maackii) is a native of eastern Asia introduced widely for erosion control, as a hedge or screen, and for ornamental purposes through the mid-1980s, when its invasive potential was first realized. It had largely replaced other types of bush honeysuckles in the horticultural industry. Now it covers large areas in metropolitan areas, bottomlands, forests and woodlands, land along streams, in fencerows, gardens, railroads, roadsides, and shaded, disturbed areas. It is aggressively invasive in most midwestern states and has become the dominant species in the understory of many remnant wooded areas in and around cities. It has used rivers and highways as dispersal corridors to invade rural parts of the state.bush honeysuckle, (genus Diervilla), genus of three species of low shrubs belonging to the family Caprifoliaceae (formerly Diervillaceae), native to eastern North America. They are frequently confused with the closely related Tatarian honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica) and other cultivated members of the genus Lonicera, which are invasive species in many parts of the United States (see honeysuckle). Diervilla species are attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds and are commonly used in native landscaping.
Bush honeysuckle, also referred to as Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii), was introduced into the U.S. as an ornamental for city landscapes in 1897. The plant was promoted for soil stabilization and reclamation programs in the 1960’s. Bush honeysuckle is a relative to the native and non-invasive honeysuckles of the U.S.; however, its ability to easily establish and grow in many environments such as lake and stream banks, floodplains, meadows, prairies, and forests (Figure 1) warrants concern. Bush honeysuckle is rapidly spreading through forests in the northern U.S.The plant’s invasive ability may in part be due to allelopathic effects on surrounding plants, a rapid growth rate relative to desirable plants, and the ability to tolerate moderate shade and outcompete neighboring plants for the available sunlight. Recent work by researchers in Ohio has shown that bush honeysuckle can also outcompete neighboring plants for water with its fine root system. The scientists found that the majority of bush honeysuckle’s roots are located within the top 5 inches of the soil (Source: ipm.missouri.edu)