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Invasive Exotic Bush Honeysuckles

Exotic bush honeysuckles are native to Eurasia (Japan, China, Korea, Manchuria, Turkey, and southern Russia). They were introduced to the United States to use as ornamentals, for wildlife cover, and for soil erosion control. Exotic bush honeysuckles are perennial deciduous shrubs found growing in dense sprawling thickets and out-compete native plants for soil moisture, light, and nutrients. They prefer sunny sites such as forest edges, pastures, roadsides, and open woodlands.

Prairie Creek Recreation Area, Maquoketa; July 3, 2023

Driving Question

  • What characteristics do invasive plant species need to survive?

Probing Questions

  • What is the definition of “invasive”?
  • Why are invasive plant species considered a threat?
  • Which plant species do you think are considered invasive?

Classroom Suggestions

Students could:

  • Identify invasive plant species in Iowa.
  • Compare and contrast the invasive plant species. List similarities and differences between type of growth, location, behavior, reproduction, etc.
  • Determine how invasive plant species are removed and evaluate which methods are most and least effective.
  • Visit a local county park or recreation area and identify invasive plant species.

Relevant Related Resources

Iowa Core Alignment


Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction

Credit Info

Submitted by Amanda Fowler as part of the Iowa STEM Teacher Externship program.

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