Japanese Honeysuckle Now A FACU Species
Japanese Honeysuckle Is Now a FACU Species in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain
Twice a year the US Army Corps of Engineers (COE) accepts challenges to its National Wetland Plant List (NWPL). Challenges from the public can be made between January 1 through March 31 and again from June 1 through August 31 of each year.
Earlier in the year the National Home Builders Association submitted a challenge to the NWPL for Japanese Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) in the Piedmont (EMP) and Coastal Plain (AGCP). Currently this species is listed as FAC in the latest published NWPL.
Lonicera japonica had been re-evaluated in the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain region prior to the release of the 2014 NWPL update. It had been changed only in that region from FAC to FACU. On May 22, 2014 The Eastern Mountains and Piedmont (EMP) Regional Panel reviewed a challenge request, for Lonicera japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle) submitted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
The Eastern Mountains and Piedmont Regional Panel unanimously agreed to rate Lonicera japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle ) as FACU after reviewing the challenge request package submitted by the National Association of Home Builders. The National Panel discussed the outcome of these results and also reached the consensus that Lonicera japonica should be rated FACU.
The ratings listed above for Lonicera japonica (FACU) are effective immediately for 2014. The changes will be reflected on the NWPL with the next published version of the list in 2015.
Please make sure to update your lists especially in the EMP region. Lonicera japonica has always been a problematic species and its presence in wet areas is not always representative of that area being a wetland. This is especially true when you find it in a floodplain. It seems to be climbing out of the water trying to keep its feet dry. Changing the indicator status of this plant does reflect its nature of not really being a wetland plant.
Source: Marc Seelinger, August 16, 2014 Swamp Stomp Newsletter