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Diervilla sessilifolia is often confused with:
Lonicera japonica Lonicera japonica flowers
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Coreopsis major leaves and flowers
Styrax grandifolius Styrax grandifolius
Aralia spinosa Aralia spinosa - axil prickles

Diervilla sessilifolia

Phonetic Spelling
deer-VIL-ah ses-ih-lih-FOH-lee-uh
Description

Southern Bush Honeysuckle is a compact, low-growing deciduous shrub that matures to 5 feet high and 5 feet wide. The plant thrives in windy, sunny, dry sites where other plants won't grow and is native to the slopes, and stream banks of the Great Smoky Mountains and the southern Appalachian Mountains. It spreads by suckers and will form thickets, which makes it ideal for stabilizing banks or using as a ground cover. The dark green leaves have red veins and the trumpet-shaped sulpher-yellow blooms flower all summer. The genus name honors a French surgeon named Dierville who observed the bush-honeysuckle growing in Canada in 1699-1700. The species name is in reference to the sessile leaves. The common name bush honeysuckle refers to the appearance of the flowers, which resemble those of plants in the genus Lonicera (honeysuckles). However, this species should not to be confused with Lonicera japonica, which shares the common name bush honeysuckle but is an exotic invasive species.

Bush Honeysuckle is easy to grow in average moisture, well-drained soils in full sun or part shade. The plant will spread by underground stems to form colonies, but it is not considered to be invasive. It is drought tolerant, hardy, adaptable to a range of soil pH and soil types and will tolerate some shade. About the only things it does not tolerate is salt and poor-draining clay soils. Prune in late winter or early spring to control the size and remove dead stems; however, keep in mind that blossoms are borne on the tip of new growth.

Diseases, Insect Pests, and Other Plant Problems:

No known diseases or insect pests. Leaf spot and powdery mildew can occur.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Butterfly'
    3 to 5 feet high, deep yellow flowers and glossy dark green foliage turns purple in fall.
  • 'Cold Splash'
    creamy-white and green variegated foliage, 2 to 4 feet high and wide.
  • 'LPDC Podaras' COOL SPLASH
'Butterfly', 'Cold Splash', 'LPDC Podaras' COOL SPLASH
Tags:
#deciduous#full sun tolerant#drought tolerant#shrub#yellow flowers#native shrub#wind tolerant#NC native#deer resistant#long bloom time#food source fall#food source nectar#food source pollen#rocky soils tolerant#dry soils tolerant#food source hard mast fruit#Audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Butterfly'
    3 to 5 feet high, deep yellow flowers and glossy dark green foliage turns purple in fall.
  • 'Cold Splash'
    creamy-white and green variegated foliage, 2 to 4 feet high and wide.
  • 'LPDC Podaras' COOL SPLASH
'Butterfly', 'Cold Splash', 'LPDC Podaras' COOL SPLASH
Tags:
#deciduous#full sun tolerant#drought tolerant#shrub#yellow flowers#native shrub#wind tolerant#NC native#deer resistant#long bloom time#food source fall#food source nectar#food source pollen#rocky soils tolerant#dry soils tolerant#food source hard mast fruit#Audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Diervilla
    Species:
    sessilifolia
    Family:
    Caprifoliaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    South Eastern United States
    Distribution:
    Alabama, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Introduced to Korea.
    Wildlife Value:
    Special Value to Bumble Bees and attracts hummingbirds.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Food Source
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 5 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 5 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Native Plant
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Clumping
    Rounded
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Brown capsule, 1/4 inch or longer, with several seeds. Displays from August through October.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Long Bloom Season
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Trumpet
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The trumpet-shaped, two lipped, yellow blooms are a 1/2 inch across and are borne in 2 to 3 inch crowded clusters of terminal and axillary cymes. It flowers June through August.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves are glossy and dark green with red veins and stems. They are 2 to 6 inches long and new growth is bronze-purple. Rounded to cordate bases and toothed margins, are sessile. Foliage sometimes acquires attractive reddish-purplish shades in fall.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Square
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Naturalized Area
    Rock Wall
    Slope/Bank
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Hedge
    Mass Planting
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Erosion
    Wind