An elegant thug - Lonicera japonica

Seen in the early morning, glowing in the shadows of a dense hedge - elegant white flowers and buds.  Alas, they belong to an introduced plant which is so successful at spreading and taking over that it has achieved a position on the New Zealand Pest Plant Accord as an unwanted species.

A very vigorous vine - Lonicera japonica, or Japanese honeysuckle. 

The paired flowers turn a creamy yellow as they age and are followed by little black berries.  Birds enjoy the berries then spread the seeds far and wide.  But that's not all - it is a climbing plant but also an effective groundcover, and the shoots root and take over more and more ground.  The flowers have a lovely fragrance and can look quite beautiful when seen close up.  But if you step back, you can see the thuggish nature of this honeysuckle.  Despite being in dense shade in a thick hedge this plant was looking well on its way to taking over. 

Fortunately there are many climbers with scented flowers that are better behaved.  So we are not left bereft if we get rid of plants with such aggressive tendencies.  And there is a helpful booklet that lists some of our native plant options, with regional variations - Plant Me Instead .  A great resource!