- The Honeysuckle names a family of arching shrubs or twining vines in the Caprifoliaceae family.
- All known varieties evolved as native to the Northern Hemisphere.
- There are about 180 known species of the plant, with approximately 100 of those endemic to China.
- Another 20 species occur in Europe, India and, North America each.
Honeysuckle Physical Description
Most species of Honeysuckle are strong twining climbers. The leaves grow opposite, and simple ovals and they average approximately 4.5 in (10 cm) in length. Most varieties are deciduous, but some develop as evergreens.
Many of the species have sweetly-scented flowers that produce a sweet, edible nectar. Most flowers are borne in clusters of two.
Both shrubby and vining sorts have strongly fibrous stems which are suitable for binding and textiles.
The fruit is a red, blue or black spherical or elongated berry. These berries contain several seeds and in most species, the berries are mildly poisonous.
While the fruit of many varieties of Honeysuckle remain toxic, in a few cases, they are edible and suitable for commerce.
The berries of most forms remain attractive to wildlife. For example, butterflies and hummingbirds love them.
Several species of this genus have become invasive when introduced outside their native range. This is particularly true in New Zealand and the United States.
The Honeysuckle is widely popular as garden decoration as they both smell beautiful and can cover unsightly walls and outbuildings. They are also popular for their beautiful flowers in summer.
The hardy climbing types need their roots in shade but they the flowering tops prefer sunlight or very light shade. Varieties need to be chosen with care because most grow prolifically.