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Honeysuckle (Lonicera)
Honeysuckle (Lonicera)

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Zones 1-41, H1, H2
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Full, Partial
Regular Water

Lonicera japonica

Japanese honeysuckle
Deciduous, Evergreen, Vines


Most honeysuckles are valued for their clustered or paired, often fragrant flowers. Blossoms are tubular in form. Some have two flaring, unequal lips; others are trumpets or straight tubes, sometimes flaring at the mouth into five equal lobes. Flowers attract hummingbirds, and the red or purple berries that follow provide food for many other kinds of birds. Blossoms typically deepen in color after opening, so clusters contain both pale and darker blooms.

Lonicera japonica

From Japan. Rampant growth can reach 30 ft., making this a weed, since birds spread the seeds; consider planting the similar but less aggressive Lonicera periclymenum. Basic species has oval deep green leaves to 3 in. long and sweet-scented, two-lipped, purple-tinged white flowers from spring to fall. Several varieties are grown, all better known than the species.


This is the most vigorous and widely grown variety; it bears pure white flowers that age to orange-yellow and attract bees. Often used as a bank and ground cover and for erosion control in large areas; as ground cover, set plants 2 to 3 ft. apart. Unless curbed, it can become a weed, smothering less vigorous plants. Needs severe pruning once a year to prevent undergrowth from building up and becoming a fire hazard. Cut back almost to framework with hedge shears. Train as privacy or wind screen on chain link or wire fence. Takes dryness pretty well when established; tolerates poor drainage.

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