Thursday, May 15, 2008

Yellow Honeysuckle (Lonicera flava)

Yellow Honeysuckle (Lonicera flava)

This is native honeysuckle, not the highly invasive Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) which, since its introduction here, has become one of our most troublesome weeds displacing native plants.

According to Missouri's Kemper Center for Home Gardening: "This honeysuckle (often commonly called yellow honeysuckle) is a deciduous, woody, twining vine which typically grows 10-20'. It is a Missouri native which occurs in rocky soils in woods, slopes, bluffs, ledges and stream margins in the Ozark region of the State. Elliptic green leaves (to 3.5" long) are grayish green below and are paired along the stems, with the uppermost leaves on each stem joined at the bases (perfoliate). Two-lipped, tubular, mildly-fragrant, orange-yellow flowers (to 1.25" long) appear in whorls at the stem ends in mid-spring. Flowers give way to round, fleshy, orange to red berries (1/4" diameter) which appear in late summer. Berries are not edible, but birds love them. Hummingbirds and butterflies are attracted to the flowers."

Jo and I have found honeysuckle growing in three separate locations around our place. The two growing in the woods at pasture's edge are getting more sunshine and spreading up into the surrounding trees and brush. I love the way the blooms (and later, the berries) emerge from the center of the paired leaves. The blooms around here open bright yellow, but turn more redish-orange over time. The only "problem" with native honeysuckle is that it blooms only once per year and for a relatively short time. Nature requires patience.

(Note: All three photos from 4/28/08.)



Anonymous said...

My honeysuckle is just starting to grow this year. I planted it two years ago and this is the first year it decided to take off but so far the progress isn't great. I like the photos and explanation you posted as I had no such information here.

Nice photos too.

Tom Arbour said...


Interesting about this plant. In Abe and I's home state of Ohio, this plant is considered extirpated. The famous E. Lucy last collected this plant in Ohio in 1911! This would make a wonderful ornamental wouldn't it? Certainly much better than Lonicera japonica!


Texas Travelers said...

Nice post and phto as usual.
Thanks for all the great information with your posts.


Tom said...

It must be nice to see this around the place.. I have garden supplies Honey Suckles in the garden to attract bee and such. I also love the colours and the smell.

Anonymous said...

I have a great orange flowering honeysuckle in Calgary, Alberta, Canada that is just gorgeous and was at this house, facing south when I bought it 5 years ago. It attracts so many bees and a hummingbird yesterday and is very well established. Beautiful and so far north for this type of plant!