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SPECIES:  Diervilla lonicera
Northern bush honeysuckle. Image by Rob Routledge, Sault College,


SPECIES: Diervilla lonicera
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION: Sullivan, Janet. 1993. Diervilla lonicera. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: []. Revisions: On 5 July 2018, the common name of this species was changed in FEIS from: bush-honeysuckle to: northern bush honeysuckle. Images were also added.
ABBREVIATION: DIELON SYNONYMS: Diervilla diervilla (L.) MacM. NRCS PLANT CODE: DILO COMMON NAMES: northern bush honeysuckle bush-honeysuckle dwarf bush-honeysuckle herbe bleue TAXONOMY: The scientific name of northern bush honeysuckle is Diervilla lonicera Mill. It is a member of the honeysuckle family (Caprifoliaceae). There are no accepted subspecies. A variety with hairy leaf undersides occurs in Ontario, northern Wisconsin, and northern Minnesota: D. l. var. hypomalaca Fern. [13,15]. Northern bush honeysuckle is closely related to southern bush honeysuckle (D. sessilifolia), from which it may not be specifically distinct [36]. LIFE FORM: Shrub FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS: No special status OTHER STATUS: NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Diervilla lonicera
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION: Northern bush honeysuckle occurs from Newfoundland west to Saskatchewan; south to Nova Scotia, New England, Delaware; and in the mountains to Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee; and west to Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa [13,15,36].
Distribution of northern bush honeysuckle. Map courtesy of USDA, NRCS. 2018. The PLANTS Database. National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC [2018, July 5] [45].
   FRES10  White - red - jack pine
   FRES11  Spruce - fir
   FRES15  Oak - hickory
   FRES17  Elm - ash - cottonwood
   FRES18  Maple - beech - birch
   FRES19  Aspen - birch
   FRES13  Loblolly - shortleaf pine

     CT  DE  IL  IN  IA  KY  ME  MD  MA  MI
     MN  NH  NJ  NY  NC  OH  PA  RI  TN  VT
     VA  WV  WI  MB  NB  NF  NS  ON  PE  PQ


   K093  Great Lakes spruce - fir forest
   K095  Great Lakes pine forest
   K096  Northeastern spruce - fir forest
   K099  Maple - basswood forest
   K102  Beech - maple forest
   K103  Mixed mesophytic forest
   K104  Appalachian oak forest
   K106  Northern hardwoods
   K107  Northern hardwoods - fir forest
   K108  Northern hardwoods - spruce forest
   K110  Northeastern oak - pine forest

     1  Jack pine
     5  Balsam fir
    12  Black spruce
    14  Northern pin oak
    15  Red pine
    16  Aspen
    17  Pin cherry
    18  Paper birch
    20  White pine - northern red oak - red maple
    22  White pine - hemlock
    23  Eastern hemlock
    24  Hemlock - yellow birch
    25  Sugar maple - beech - yellow birch
    26  Sugar maple - basswood
    27  Sugar maple
    37  Northern white-cedar
    39  Black ash - American elm - red maple
    51  White pine - chestnut oak
    52  White oak - black oak - northern red oak
    55  Northern red oak
    59  Yellow-poplar - white oak - northern red oak
    60  Beech - sugar maple
   107  White spruce
   108  Red maple


Northern bush honeysuckle is not named as an understory dominant or indicator in
published classifications.  It is found in a variety of cover types and
has a number of plant associates.  The most widely distributed shrub
associates of northern bush honeysuckle include beaked hazel (Corylus cornuta),
alternate-leaf dogwood (Cornus alternifolia), speckled alder (Alnus
rugosa), American green alder (A. viridis ssp. crispa), checkerberry
wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens), and blueberries (Vaccinium spp.).
Herbaceous associates include wild lily-of-the-valley (Maianthemum
canadense), bigleaf aster (Aster macrophyllus), and wild sarsaparilla
(Aralia nudicaulis).  Bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum) is often
associated with northern bush honeysuckle in the understory of some cover types;
northern bush honeysuckle is also found on bracken fern-dominated grasslands in
northeastern Wisconsin [23,27,35,42,48].


SPECIES: Diervilla lonicera
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE: Northern bush honeysuckle provides winter browse for moose, and winter and summer browse for white-tailed deer [18]. Leaves and twigs are eaten by woodland caribou, but northern bush honeysuckle is not an important component of the woodland caribou diet [10]. Sharp-tailed grouse consume the vegetative buds. Northern bush honeysuckle provides brood cover for sharp-tailed grouse in Wisconsin [16]. PALATABILITY: Northern bush honeysuckle is preferred by white-tailed deer in late summer [18]. NUTRITIONAL VALUE: NO-ENTRY COVER VALUE: NO-ENTRY VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES: NO-ENTRY OTHER USES AND VALUES: NO-ENTRY OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS: Seed-tree cuts or clearcuts in red pine (Pinus resinosa) communities often result in a dense growth of shrubs, including northern bush honeysuckle. Northern bush honeysuckle increased in density following logging in a balsam fir (Abies balsamea)-paper birch (Betula papyrifera) stand near Duluth, Minnesota [34]. Leaving more of the canopy when logging reduces the amount of shrub growth [12]. Northern bush honeysuckle competes with lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) after fire-pruning of lowbush blueberry fields [17]. Northern bush honeysuckle is susceptible to foliar sprays of 2,4-D [6]. Northern bush honeysuckle is probably resistant to browsing; on Isle Royale, Michigan, it was found in higher densities in control plots than in moose exclosures [38].


SPECIES: Diervilla lonicera
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Northern bush honeysuckle is a native, deciduous small shrub that usually grows from 2 to 4 feet (0.6-1.2 m) tall [15]. The branches run close to the ground, ascending slightly. The fruit is a dry, woody, dehiscent capsule [8]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM: Chamaephyte REGENERATION PROCESSES: Asexual: Northern bush honeysuckle reproduces from rhizomes, forming widely-scattered clumps or patches [3,40,44]. Sexual: Northern bush honeysuckle is insect pollinated. Its most important pollinators in Michigan are bumblebees. It is self-incompatible; successful seed set requires pollination by insects that have travelled from another clonal patch, which is usually some distance away [40,44]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS: Northern bush honeysuckle is common on exposed, rocky sites and on dry to mesic, well-drained soils [15,22]. In northern Michigan, it is found in open, sandy thickets, woodlands, and jack pine (Pinus banksiana) plains [40]. It is best developed on dry, infertile soils in cool climates [7]. In the Adirondack Mountains of New York, northern bush honeysuckle is found from elevations of 100 feet (30 m) to 4,050 feet (1,234 m) [22]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS: Northern bush honeysuckle is relatively insensitive to differences in light intensity [3]. Its abundance in jack pine communities usually remains relatively constant for a long time but declines in older (approximately 80 years of age) stands [3]. In jack pine-balsam fir community types, northern bush honeysuckle is most common on sites that have been cleared and/or burned within the past 30 to 50 years [31,40]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT: The peak flowering season for northern bush honeysuckle is from early June to early July, but flowers have opened as late as August in Michigan [15,40]. The fruit matures and releases seeds in September [8].


SPECIES: Diervilla lonicera
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS: Northern bush honeysuckle sprouts from the rhizomes following top-kill by fire. Regeneration depends on initiation of growth from dormant buds on protected stem portions and rhizomes [9]. FIRE REGIMES: Find fire regime information for the plant communities in which this species may occur by entering the species name in the FEIS home page under "Find Fire Regimes". POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY: Rhizomatous shrub, rhizome in soil Secondary colonizer - off-site seed


SPECIES: Diervilla lonicera
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT: Cool surface fires top-kill northern bush honeysuckle [9]. PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE: Northern bush honeysuckle rapidly regenerates after fire, though no sexual structures are produced the first postfire growing season [9]. Seeds of northern bush honeysuckle were found only on old burns in Petersham, Massachusetts, which suggested a possible period of heavy fruit production approximately 13 years after fire [5,25]. Northern bush honeysuckle abundance is usually unchanged by fire; abundance in postfire communities is dependent on northern bush honeysuckle prefire density and the response of its competitors [3,20]. Northern bush honeysuckle increased slightly in cover (from 1 to 2.2 percent) after a prescribed fire in a jack pine community in Minnesota [2]. In a Minnesota jack pine stand where both logging and prescribed fire were conducted, northern bush honeysuckle frequency decreased the first postfire year but returned to prefire levels by the second growing season. Its frequency declined slightly in the fourth year [1]. Following prescribed fire in a red pine-white pine (Pinus strobus) community in Ontario, northern bush honeysuckle increased in stem number but not frequency, with an overall increase in biomass [30]. After wildfire in jack pine types in northern Minnesota, northern bush honeysuckle regenerated better on sites that had burned in summer as compared to sites that had experienced a spring wildfire [33]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE: The Research Project Summary Effects of surface fires in a mixed red and eastern white pine stand in Michigan provides information on prescribed fire and postfire response of plant community species, including northern bush honeysuckle, that was not available when this species review was written. FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS: Loomis and others [26] measured the moisture content of a number of upper Midwest understory shrubs and herbs, including northern bush honeysuckle; this information can be used for a number of fire management considerations.


SPECIES: Diervilla lonicera
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