Photo: Lonicera oblongifolia

Lonicera oblongifolia (Goldie) Hook.

Swamp Honeysuckle

Habitat: Bogs, swampy thickets and wet woods. [Forested wetland; Open wetland, not coastal nor rivershore (non-forested, wetland)]

Range: New Brunswick and Quebec to Manitoba, New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Minnesota.

Aids to Identification: Swamp fly-honeysuckle is a shrub that grows up to 1.5 m high with upward pointing branches covered with small hairs and opposite oval leaves 2-5 cm in length. The flowers, borne in pairs, are yellow, two-lipped, and narrow. The fleshy red berries also occur in pairs. The only other honeysuckle that is found in similar communities is Lonicera villosa, the mountain fly honeysuckle. It is distinguished by its blue berries and winter buds covered by 2 valvate scales (vs. several imbricate scales).

Photo: Lonicera oblongifolia

Ecological characteristics: Because of the specific habitat requirements of swamp fly-honeysuckle -- open areas of cool cedar swamps underlain by limestone -- it is not widespread, but populations may be plentiful where it does occur.

Phenology: Flowers May - June.

Family: Caprifoliaceae

Synonyms: Lonicera oblongifolia (Goldie) Hook. var. altissima (Jennings) Rehd.

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented from a total of 44 town(s) in the following county(ies): Aroostook, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Somerset, Washington.

Reason(s) for rarity: Specific habitat requirements.

Conservation considerations: Appears reasonably secure; known populations are persistent.