NICE! plant of the season
Vine: Coral Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)
Photo: by Lon Turnbull
Honeysuckle is a perennial vine, with a woody base. It is almost
evergreen in North Texas. Coral Honeysuckle is an eastern US
native, ranging from central Texas to New England. It has simple
opposite leaves that are round to oval with pale undersides. Its
bloom gives the plant its name, with coral to red flowers that are 2
Bloom/berry period: There
is a burst of bloom from March to May, with continued occasional blooms
all summer. Coral Honeysuckle blooms in clusters of 4 to 12
flowers at a time. In late fall, it has very beautiful bright red
berries, favored by birds, but inedible by humans.
Planting sites: It can
climb 15 feet or more, making it suitable for climbing a trellis or a
fence. Plant in dappled or partial shade or sun. The best site is
morning sun and afternoon shade, but the plant will also do well as
long as it receives a half-day of sun. Plants should be placed
about 6 feet apart. Like many plants that are vines, Coral
Honeysuckle grows best when its base is shaded, so consider planting
small perennials around it. Well-drained moist soil is best,
although Coral Honeysuckle can withstand short dry periods.
Coral Honeysuckle should be watered well immediately after planting and
then every 7-10 days during the first growing season. Like most
native plants, Coral Honeysuckle should not be over-watered, so be sure
to check the soil moisture an inch or two below the soil surface.
After the first growing season, water every 2-4 weeks during prolonged
Comments: This lovely
vine should not be confused with the non-native invasive Japanese
Honeysuckle. Coral Honeysuckle is very well behaved in the
garden, growing slowly and staying where it is planted. Coral
Honeysuckle is a hummingbird magnet.
Look for the NICE! Plant of the Season signs and information sheets on
your next visit to a participating
North Texas nursery. Thank
you for using native plants in your landscapes.
Written by: Dr. Rebecca Dickstein, Professor of Biology, University of
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Last noted update by
Lon: March 19, 2009.