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Woodbine Lonicera sempervirens

Phonetic Spelling
loh-NISS-er-ah sem-per-VY-renz
Description

Lonicera sempervirens, commonly called Trumpet Honeysuckle, is a vigorous twining vine that is primarily native to the southeastern U.S. but has naturalized in many other areas of the eastern U.S.

Trumpet Honeysuckle is easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained, neutral to acidic soils in full sun. It will grow in some shade, but best flowering is in full sun and does best in humusy, organically rich soils with good drainage. This plant flowers in mid-spring, and is often non-fragrant. Flowers are always terminal and never axillary as in L. japonica. There is a significant variation in leaf shapes over the growing season. This is a twining vine that needs a support structure and is an excellent choice for a trellis, arbor or fence. It can also be allowed to sprawl as a ground cover. The plant flowers on new growth, so pruning should be restricted until after flowering.

High nitrogen fertilizer will produce foliage at the expense of flowers. This plant is noninvasive, and it is excellent for natural, low-maintenance areas. This vine is evergreen in the warm winter climates of the deep South. There are no serious pest or disease problems but powdery mildew and leaf spots may occur, particularly in hot and humid summer climates. Watch for aphids.

Fire Risk: 

This plant has an extreme flammability rating and should not be planted within the defensible space of your home.  Plants with a low flammability rating should be chosen for areas closest to the house.

 

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Annuals, Perennials, Vines, and Groundcovers" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens. 

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Alabama Crimson'
    crimson-flowers, grows 10-20’ long, dark blue-green leaves.
  • 'Cedar Lane'
    long, narrow, tubular, vermillion red flowers (to 2” long) with yellow throats
  • 'Dropmore Scarlet'
  • 'Flava'
    AKA, 'Sulphurea', profuse bright yellow blooms and bright green foliage.
  • 'John Clayton'
    yellow-flowered, compact, tendency to rebloom, profuse berries.
  • 'Leo'
  • 'Major Wheeler'
  • 'Sulfurea'
    yellow
  • 'Superba'
'Alabama Crimson', 'Cedar Lane', 'Dropmore Scarlet', 'Flava', 'John Clayton', 'Leo', 'Major Wheeler', 'Sulfurea', 'Superba'
Tags:
#bees#hummingbirds#red#evergreen#sun#deciduous#yellow#full sun#partial shade#perennial#wildlife plant#showy#salt tolerant#medicinal#variegated leaves#low maintenance#apvg#trellis#playground#coastal#moist soil#food source#highly beneficial coastal plants#cpp#fire#extreme flammability#NC native#exfoliating#well-drained soil#deer resistant#children's garden#groundcover#native vine#pollinator plant#wildflower garden#fantz#food source summer#food source fall#food source nectar#food source pollen#bird friendly#food source soft mast fruit#butterfly friendly#FACU Piedmont Mountains#FACU Coastal#apvg-vg#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Alabama Crimson'
    crimson-flowers, grows 10-20’ long, dark blue-green leaves.
  • 'Cedar Lane'
    long, narrow, tubular, vermillion red flowers (to 2” long) with yellow throats
  • 'Dropmore Scarlet'
  • 'Flava'
    AKA, 'Sulphurea', profuse bright yellow blooms and bright green foliage.
  • 'John Clayton'
    yellow-flowered, compact, tendency to rebloom, profuse berries.
  • 'Leo'
  • 'Major Wheeler'
  • 'Sulfurea'
    yellow
  • 'Superba'
'Alabama Crimson', 'Cedar Lane', 'Dropmore Scarlet', 'Flava', 'John Clayton', 'Leo', 'Major Wheeler', 'Sulfurea', 'Superba'
Tags:
#bees#hummingbirds#red#evergreen#sun#deciduous#yellow#full sun#partial shade#perennial#wildlife plant#showy#salt tolerant#medicinal#variegated leaves#low maintenance#apvg#trellis#playground#coastal#moist soil#food source#highly beneficial coastal plants#cpp#fire#extreme flammability#NC native#exfoliating#well-drained soil#deer resistant#children's garden#groundcover#native vine#pollinator plant#wildflower garden#fantz#food source summer#food source fall#food source nectar#food source pollen#bird friendly#food source soft mast fruit#butterfly friendly#FACU Piedmont Mountains#FACU Coastal#apvg-vg#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Lonicera
    Species:
    sempervirens
    Family:
    Caprifoliaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    It has been used medicinally (dried and smoked) for asthma. The juice of the plant (leaves ground by chewing) is beneficial in the treatment of bee stings. The leaves have been used as a decoction for coughs and sore throats.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Layering
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southeastern United States
    Distribution:
    Eastern US
    Fire Risk Rating:
    extreme flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Its flowers are attractive to hummingbirds, bees, butterflies and some moth pollinators. The small red berries are eaten by songbirds. The foliage may be eaten by white-tailed deer. It is a nectar source of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and a larval host for the Spring Azure Butterfly and the Snowberry Clearwing Moth.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Larval Host
    Climbing Method:
    Twining
    Dimensions:
    Height: 10 ft. 0 in. - 20 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Native Plant
    Vine
    Wildflower
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Climbing
    Creeping
    Multi-stemmed
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    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
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The inedible rounded red berries that form in late summer to early fall and can be ornamentally attractive. The small red berries are attractive to birds and less than an inch in size. Displays from July to September
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Trumpet
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    fused petals
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    The Trumpet Honeysuckle has large, non-fragrant, narrow, trumpet-shaped flowers that have rich scarlet to orange-red on the outside and yellowish inside. Flowers have 4 upper lobes and 1 lower lobe. Its flowers appear in late spring from March to July at stem ends in whorled clusters Flowers are 1.5-2" in size.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    Soft
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The Trumpet Honeysuckle has opposite, simple, ovate to oblong-ovate, dark bluish-green leaves (3 inches long, 2 inches across) that are glaucous (of a dull grayish-green or blue color) and pubescent beneath. The leaves have a smooth margin. The leaves immediately below the flowers are joined at the base in a complete ring, fused into an oblong disk and are sessile. Leaf shape is highly variable within a single plant; early season leaves are linear and strap-like whereas later-developing leaves are oblong to elliptic or obovate.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Green
    Light Brown
    Surface/Attachment:
    Exfoliating
    Papery
    Bark Description:
    Its bark is smooth and green with a slight fuzzyness when young. As the vine ages, the bark turns brown and begins to flake.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Stems are twining, straw colored and are glabrous on new growth.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Recreational Play Area
    Vertical Spaces
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Children's Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Black Walnut
    Compaction
    Deer
    Salt