Northern Bush Honeysuckle, Diervilla lonicera

Northern Bush Honeysuckle

Diervilla lonicera

Benefits: Pollinator Benefit Graphic
Sun Shade: Plant Light Requirements Graphic
Bloom Time: Summer
Hardiness Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Soil Conditions: Loam, Sand
Soil Moisture: Medium, Dry
Color: Orange, Yellow, Gold
Fragrance: No
Height: 1-3 feet
Spacing: 2-3 feet

Northern Bush Honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera) is a suckering, densely branched, deciduous shrub that typically grows to 3 feet tall and to 4 feet wide. It is native to dry rocky open woodland areas and thickets. It is noted for its small shrubby form, yellow trumpet-shaped flowers, dark green leaves and fall color. Tube-like flowers (each to ½ inch across), resembling the flowers of true honeysuckle (genus Lonicera), bloom in panicles (cymes) in late spring to early summer (June-July). Flower color is initially pale yellow or even greenish yellow, becoming orange to red with age. The 5 sepals surrounding the base of the flower are narrowly triangular and about as long as the floral tube. The ovary sits between the stalk and flower.

In order to taste the sweet nectar, the tubular flower must be suckled, hence the name honeysuckle. Plants are self-sterile (seed set requires pollination from a nearby plant). Flowers give rise to fruits (dry woody dehiscent capsules). Ovate to oblong-lanceolate, pointed, opposite, glossy green leaves (to 2-5 inch long) with fine marginal teeth turn interesting shades of yellow to orange sometimes changing to red in fall.

Easily grown in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Tolerates drought. Freely suckers. Plants may be propagated by transplanting suckers. Prune as needed immediately after flowering. Plants grow best in cool summer climates.

 Plant Notes and Herbal Uses
  The fruit capsules are desirable to many songbirds, autumn through winter.
 Further Information

 Wisconsin Fruit Trees
 Wisconsin Edible Berry Shrubs
 Widsconsin Edible Plants-Eat On The Wild Side
 8 Dandelion Recipes
 Wisconsin Native Plant Nurseries

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