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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Honeysuckle Dreams

Lonicera is the botanical name for Honeysuckle and that's about all that I know on this climbing vine. Some gardeners have written of fond childhood memories of this plants and others have written about trying to eradicate this vine from their garden.

As for me though, my first encounter with this plant was when I bought one for my own garden. Being afraid of it taking over like Kudzo, I planted it in a large whiskey barrel that was next to my garden swing. In a few years it's grown nicely to cover 2/3's of the roof of that swing.

It wasn't until recently that I realized honeysuckles have different bloom seasons. Unfortunately, I didn't save the name of this variety but I do know it blooms in late May, right around prom season. Now I'd like to buy a different colored one that blooms later in the season and plant it on the other side.

Anybody have any suggestions?

Also, I'd like to know if there would be any problems if I planted some of these in the ground along that plain stockade fence.


Xris said...

It looks like you have a variety of an Eastern U.S. native honeysuckle, Lonicera sempervirens, trumpet honeysuckle. This is not invasive in its native range. It's a favorite nectar source for Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds in our area. Feel free to plant as much of it as you like!

The keys are the perfoliate leaves on the stems (completely enclosing the stems), tight, tubular flowers which flare only slightly at the opening, and dark red bloom. Additional clues would be that the flowers are not fragrant, and the leaves are evergreen or semi-evergreen into the winter.

Japanese honeysuckle, which is invasive, has more widely flaring, fragrant, tubular flowers of usually lighter colors, and the leaves don't clasp the stem.

Check out the USDA Plants listing LOSE for more information about the native species. Compare that with their listing for LOJA, the invasive species.

Melanie Vassallo said...

Wow Xris, thanks for all the great information! My favorite local nursery has been carrying a sempervirens cultivar named 'John Clayton' that has yellow blooms. Now I can't wait for spring so I can run out and get one of those too.

You are certainly correct about it having little to no fragrance. I thought my nose was broken or something :-)

Gotta Garden said...

Sure is pretty! Sounds like you've gotten expert help and are all set. I'm so pleased that it's not the problem kind. While wonderfully fragrant, I am fighting it in about five places in my is very determined!

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Very pretty that garden seat with honeysuckle. What a pity it hasn't much fragrance. Over here I can grow any kind of honeysuckle as they are not all that invasive in this climate.

One of my favorites is Lonicera japonica Hall's prolific, with soft yellow and white flowers. They smell wonderful.

Native to the Netherlands is Lonicera periclymenum which has a wonderful scent.

The honeysuckle only smells great during the evening, during daytime there's no scent at all. Birds love to eat the berries in autumn.

You have a very lovely garden Melanie and I hope to see many lovely pics in the coming months. :-)

Thanks for stopping by at my blog.