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Lonicera

Honeysuckles are often regarded as weedy and untidy climbers but in the right conditions, they are the easiest and most rewarding of plants. Belonging to the woodbine (Caprifoliaceae) family, the 180-odd species in the genus are widely distributed across the Northern Hemisphere.

The genus includes climbers, ground covers, and shrubs, both evergreen and deciduous. Most of them are very hardy. Some of them develop into dense twiggy bushes with arching stems. These plants can be ornamental with many species bearing fragrant flowers that are followed by colourful berries.

Honeysuckle foliage mostly consists of opposite pairs of leathery leaves that vary in size. The flowers vary in size, although most are tubular and are usually creamy inside. The outer colours featuring most shades except blue. The flowers are sometimes fragrant and are followed by berries that are usually partially enclosed by bract-like calyces.

Description

  • This is a perennial woody vine of the honeysuckle family.
  • It climbs by twisting its stems around vertical structures.
  • Including limbs and trunks of shrubs and small trees.
  • The leaves are oblong to oval-shaped.
  • They are sometimes lobed and have short stalks while occurring in pairs along the stem.
  • The flowers are tubular with five fused petals.
  • The colours vary from white to pink, turning yellow with age.
  • Smells like sweet-scented vanilla.
  • Requires semi-shade to full sun for growing.
  • To keep this shrub neat and tidy, pruning is required in late winter.
  • Application of a balanced fertiliser enhances growth.
  • A toxic plant with poisonous berries and should be kept away from children.
  • A great ornamental plant for decoration.

Available for purchase in Capalaba Nursery, Brisbane.

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