Lonicera acuminata

Lonicera acuminata Wallich var. acuminata (incl.: L. giraldii Rehd., L. henryi Hemsl.) (E-As.) – A very rare, locally naturalised escape from or relic of cultivation. Discovered as a very vigorous climber along river Leie in Gent in 2009 (along with Fallopia baldschuanica and therefore believed to be initially a relic of cultivation rather than an escape). However, Lonicera acuminata grows tremendously fast (overgrowing numerous trees), flowers and fruits well and young, apparently self-sown specimens have been found nearby. Discovered in similar circumstances in Hechtel and in Lommel in 2011 (see also http://waarnemingen.be/waarneming/view/52179828). Like in parts of Central-Europe, Lonicera acuminata might become invasive (Adolphi & Böcker 2005, Weber 2005).

The taxonomy of Lonicera acuminata is very complex. Horticultural treatments considerably differ from one another and Asian taxonomy is still different. Li (2000) cites Lonicera henryi and L. giraldii as distinct species and does not refer to L. acuminata. Roloff & Bärtels (2006), on the contrary, distinguish all three species but none fully match with the plant generally found in cultivation (twigs are densely hirsute-hairy but flowers are clustered, not in pairs). We here follow Yang & al. (2011) and consider these three species as conspecific. Lonicera acuminata being an earlier name than L. henryi, it has priority.

Lonicera acuminata, Gent, path by river Leie, August 2009, F. Verloove

Lonicera acuminata, Gent, path by river Leie, August 2009, F. Verloove

Lonicera acuminata, Gent, path by river Leie, August 2009, F. Verloove

Herbarium specimen

Selected literature

Adolphi K. & Böcker R. (2005) Über Spontanvorkommen von Lonicera henryi (Caprifoliaceae) mit kurzen Anmerkungen über weitere neophytische Schling- und Klettergewächse. Flor. Rundbr. 39: 7-16.

Li D.Z. (2000) Lonicera. In: Cullen J. & al. (eds.), The European Garden Flora, vol. 6. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: 436-452.

Lousley J.E. (1962) Lonicera henryi Hemsley. Bot. Soc. Brit. Isles Proc. 4(4): 416.

Roloff A. & Bärtels A. (2006) Flora der Gehölze (2e Auflage). Ulmer, Stuttgart: 844 p.

Weber E. (2005) Lonicera henryi Hemsl. – a potential exotic forest weed in Switzerland. Bot. Helv. 115: 77–81.

Yang Q., Landrein S., Osborne J. & Borosova R. (2011) Caprifoliaceae. In: Flora of China Editorial Committee (ed.), Flora of China, vol. 19. Science Press, Beijing & Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis: 616-641.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith