sweet breath of spring
Lonicera fragrantissima Lindl. & Paxton


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.
Leaves are opposite, round, 1-3 in. (2.5-7.6 cm) long and wide and usually persist into winter.
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.
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.

Selected Images


EDDMapS Distribution

EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org

State Regulated List

State Regulated List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their regulated list. For more information, visit Invasive.org

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Dipsacales
Family: Caprifoliaceae
Genus: Lonicera
Subject: Lonicera fragrantissima Lindl. & Paxton

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
January jasmine

Related Scientific Names:
Xylosteon fragrantissimum Lindl. & Paxton (Synonym)


Plants - Shrub or Subshrub