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Tartar Honeysuckle

Lonicera tatarica

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle)
Deciduous shrub
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
3 metres tall
Gardens, hedgerows, roadsides, wasteland, woodland.

Pink, 5 petals
Tubular shaped flowers, 2-lipped. White or pinkish-red.
A shiny red or orange berry, up to 1cm across.
An erect bushy shrub with simple, dark green (bluish), oval leaves, up to 6cm long. The leaves are arranged in opposite pairs along the branches.
The flowers are sometimes very fragrant.
Other Names:
Tartarian Honeysuckle, Tatarian Honeysuckle.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Lonicera tatarica, also known as Tatarian honeysuckle, is a species of honeysuckle that is native to Eastern Europe and Asia. It is a deciduous shrub that typically grows to about 6-10 feet tall and wide. It is characterized by its oval-shaped leaves, which are dark green on top and pale green on the bottom. The plant produces small, tubular flowers that are typically white or pink in color. The flowers bloom in late spring and early summer, and are followed by small, red berries that are attractive to birds.

Lonicera tatarica is a popular garden plant and is often used as a hedge, ground cover, or as a specimen plant. It is hardy, easy to grow and tolerant of most soil types, but it does prefer well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade. It is also valued for its ornamental and ecological value, it is often used in wildlife gardens and as a naturalizing plant in woodlands and hedgerows. It is considered invasive in some areas and it is important to keep an eye on its growth and to prune it as necessary.


Tatar honeysuckle, also known as Lonicera tatarica, is a deciduous shrub that belongs to the honeysuckle family, Caprifoliaceae. It is native to parts of central Asia and Siberia, but has been introduced to other parts of the world, including North America and Europe. This plant is known for its beautiful flowers and sweet fragrance, making it a popular addition to gardens and landscapes.

Physical Characteristics

Tatar honeysuckle typically grows to a height of 6-10 feet and a width of 4-8 feet, with an upright, spreading habit. It has oval-shaped leaves that are approximately 2-3 inches long, and are arranged oppositely along the stems. The leaves are dark green on top and lighter underneath, and turn yellow in the fall before dropping. The flowers of Tatar honeysuckle are tubular in shape and are typically pink or white, with yellow stamens in the center. They bloom in late spring or early summer and are highly fragrant. The fruit of the Tatar honeysuckle is a red or orange berry that is approximately 0.25 inches in diameter, and contains multiple small seeds.


Tatar honeysuckle is a hardy plant that is easy to grow and care for. It prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil, but can tolerate a wide range of soil types and conditions. It is also tolerant of drought and air pollution, making it a good choice for urban areas. This plant can be propagated by seeds or cuttings, and should be pruned regularly to maintain its shape and promote new growth.


Tatar honeysuckle is primarily used as an ornamental plant in gardens and landscapes, where it is valued for its beautiful flowers and fragrance. It is also sometimes used as a hedge or screen plant, due to its dense growth habit. In addition to its ornamental value, Tatar honeysuckle has some medicinal properties. It has been used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments, including respiratory infections, digestive issues, and skin conditions.

Ecological Impact

Tatar honeysuckle is considered an invasive species in some parts of the world, including parts of North America and Europe. It is able to thrive in a wide range of habitats and can outcompete native plant species for resources. In addition, the berries of Tatar honeysuckle are toxic to humans and can cause vomiting and other symptoms if ingested.

Invasive Tendencies

Tatar honeysuckle has a high reproductive rate and is capable of spreading quickly, making it a potential threat to native plant species. The plant can produce a large number of seeds, which are spread by birds and other wildlife. Once established, Tatar honeysuckle can form dense thickets that shade out other plants and reduce biodiversity. It can also alter soil chemistry and nutrient cycling, further impacting the surrounding ecosystem.

Control and Management

To control the spread of Tatar honeysuckle, it is important to remove any plants that are growing outside of their intended area. This can be done by hand-pulling or digging up the plants, or by using herbicides. However, caution must be taken when using herbicides, as they can also harm non-target plant species and wildlife. It is also important to monitor the area for any regrowth, and to continue removing any new plants that appear.

In some cases, it may be more effective to prevent the spread of Tatar honeysuckle in the first place. This can be done by planting native species in the area, which can outcompete Tatar honeysuckle and prevent it from becoming established. Additionally, educating the public about the risks of planting non-native species and encouraging the use of native plants in landscaping can help to prevent the spread of invasive species like Tatar honeysuckle.

Medicinal Properties

Tatar honeysuckle has been used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments. The plant contains several compounds, including flavonoids and organic acids, that have been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Tatar honeysuckle has been used to treat respiratory infections, including coughs and sore throats, as well as digestive issues, such as diarrhea and dysentery. It has also been used topically to treat skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis.

Research has shown that the compounds found in Tatar honeysuckle may have potential health benefits beyond traditional uses. For example, studies have suggested that Tatar honeysuckle may have antitumor, antiviral, and neuroprotective effects. However, more research is needed to fully understand the potential health benefits of Tatar honeysuckle.

Cultural Significance

Tatar honeysuckle is an important cultural symbol in some parts of the world. In Russia, for example, Tatar honeysuckle is sometimes used as a symbol of love and devotion. Legend has it that if a man gives a bouquet of Tatar honeysuckle to a woman, she will fall in love with him. In Kazakhstan, Tatar honeysuckle is sometimes used in traditional Kazakh medicine and is believed to have healing properties.

In some cultures, Tatar honeysuckle is also used in cooking. The flowers of the plant are sometimes used to flavor tea or to make a sweet syrup, while the berries can be used to make jams and jellies.

In conclusion, Tatar honeysuckle is a plant with a rich history and many uses. While it is primarily known for its ornamental value, it also has important medicinal properties and cultural significance. However, it is important to be aware of the potential invasive tendencies of Tatar honeysuckle and to take steps to prevent its spread into natural areas.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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