Lonicera fragrantissima

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0016074
Taxonomy
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Dipsacales
Family: Caprifoliaceae
Genus: Lonicera
Species: fragrantissima
Scientific Name
Lonicera fragrantissima
Lindl. & Paxton
Scientific Name Synonym
Xylosteon fragrantissimum
Lindl. & Paxton
Common Names

sweet breath of spring, January jasmine

Overview

Appearance
Lonicera fragrantissima is a multi-stemmed, upright, deciduous (evergreen in the South) shrub that grows from 6-10 ft. (1.8-3 m) tall. The stems are hollow with stringy, tan bark and are often purple when young.
Foliage
Leaves are opposite, round, 1-3 in. (2.5-7.6 cm) long and wide and usually persist into winter.
Flowers
Flowering occurs in the late winter, when fragrant, tubular, 0.5 in. (1.5 cm) long, white to red or yellow, thin-petaled flowers develop in pairs in the leaf axils.
Fruit
The abundant berries are 0.3 in. (8.5 mm) in diameter and ripen to orange or red in the mid-summer and often persist throughout winter.
Ecological Threat
Several species of exotic bush honeysuckles occur and distinguishing different species can be difficult. However, all have similar effects. Lonicera fragrantissima readily invades open woodlands, old fields and other disturbed sites. Its rapid spread is attributed to birds and mammals dispersing the seeds. It can form a dense understory thicket which can restrict native plant growth and tree seedling establishment. Lonicera fragrantissima is native to eastern Asia and was first introduced into North America in the late 1800s. It has been planted widely as an ornamental and for wildlife food and cover.

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