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Lonicera japonica

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Lonicera japonica Thunb. ex Murray

Family Name: Caprifoliaceae
Common Name: Japanese Honeysuckle, Gold-and-silver Flower, 忍冬, 金银花

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Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Climber, Vine & Liana
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 24 m to 36 m

Biogeography

Native Distribution Japan, Korea
Native Habitat Terrestrial

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Perennial, woody climber with twining stems up to 36 m long.
Foliage Smooth or sometimes softly hairy leaves are oblong to oval with short petioles (leaf stalks). Leaf margin is entire (smooth edges) or lobed. Leaves occur in pairs along the stem.
Stems Young stems are reddish and softly hairy, while mature stems are woody with peeling strips of bark.
Flowers Tubular, 2-lipped flowers are initially white, gradually turning yellow over time. They are arranged in pairs within the leaf axil (the area between the stem and leaf stalk). Flowers have a strong, sweet fragrance and contain honey-like nectar at the base of the floral tube.
Fruits Black fruits contain 2-3 dark brown seeds which are oval to oblong (0.6 cm long). 
Ethnobotanical Uses Medicinal (

 Scientific Evidence of Medicinal Properties

In pre-clinical trials, Japanese Honeysuckle showed pain-relieving (Ryu et al., 2010), anti-cancer (Liu et al., 2021), anti-diabetic (Wang et al., 2017), anti-inflammation (Ryu et al., 2010), anti-microbial (Rhee & Lee, 2011), antioxidant (Bang et al., 2019) and cholesterol-lowering properties (Wang et al., 2017) in animals.

Traditional Medicinal Uses

Research supports the traditional use of Japanese Honeysuckle to treat arthritis, headache, inflammation, body aches and boils. Other traditional uses include using it to treat urinary disorders, diarrhoea, dysentery and fever.

It is important to note that some therapeutic effects from traditional medicinal uses of plants are not currently supported or verified by scientific research. 

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Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Fragrant (Flowers) (Day)
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Dry Soils / Drought
Landscape Uses Vertical Greenery / Green Wall, Flowerbed / Border
Thematic Landscaping Golden Garden

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Seed or Spore Dispersal Biotic (Fauna)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Fast
Propagation Method Stem Cutting, Seed
Propagation Method Remarks Layering.

Foliar

Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth, Velvety / Furry / Tomentose
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate, Oval, Oblong)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Mucronate
Foliar Base Rounded / Obtuse

Non - Foliar and Storage

Stem Type & Modification Woody
Specialised Storage Organ(s) Underground (Rhizome)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Unisexual Flowers
Flower & Plant Sexuality 2 Dioecious
Flower Colour(s) White, Yellow / Golden
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Flower Symmetry Bilateral
Individual Flower Shape Tubular
Flower Transitional Changes Colour
Flowering Habit Polycarpic
Inflorescence Size Remarks Flower changes from white to yellow.

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Black
Fruit Type 1 Fleshy Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Berry

References

References

Bang, B.W., Park, D., Kwon, K.S., Lee, D.H., Jang, M.J., Park, S.K. & Kim, J.Y. (2019). BST-104, a water extract of Lonicera japonica, has a gastroprotective effect via antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. Journal of Medicinal Food 22(2): 140–151.

Liu, C., Xu, M., Yan, L., Wang, Y., Zhou, Z., Wang, S., Sun, Y., Zhang, J. & Dong, L. (2021). Honeysuckle-derived microRNA2911 inhibits tumor growth by targeting TGF-β1. Chinese Medicine 16: Article ID 49.

Lu, H., Zhang, L. & Huang, H. (2015). Study on the isolation of active constituents in Lonicera japonica and the mechanism of their anti-upper respiratory tract infection action in children. African Health Sciences 15(4): 1295–1301.

Ryu, K.H., Rhee, H.I., Kim, J.H., Yoo, H., Lee, B.Y. & Um, K.A. (2010). Anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities of SKLJI, a highly purified and injectable herbal extract of Lonicera japonicaBioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry 74(10): 2022–2028.

Wang, D., Zhao, X. & Liu, Y. (2017). Hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects of a polysaccharide from flower buds of Lonicera japonica in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules 102: 396–404.

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Master ID 146
Species ID 1442
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 10 November 2022.
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