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Lonicera periclymenum, known as honeysuckle, common honeysuckle, European honeysuckle or woodbine is a deciduous climber that grows up to 10 m high. It is native to much of Europe, growing as far north as southern Norway and Sweden; in Britain it is one of two native honeysuckles, the other being fly honeysuckle (Lonicera xylosteum). It is often found in woodland or in hedgerows or scrubland. The flowers are creamy white or yellowish, trumpet shaped and very sweet smelling (especially during the night). The plant is usually pollinated by moths or long-tongued bees and develops bright red berries.

In culture

Honeysuckle, or woodbine, has been a valued part of Britain’s ecology for centuries. It is mentioned by Shakespeare:-

“I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine”[1]

The plant was voted the County flower of Warwickshire in 2002 following a poll by the wild plant conservation charity Plantlife.[2]

Cultivation

Honeysuckle is valued in the garden, for its ability to twine around other plants, or to cover unsightly walls or outbuildings; and the intense fragrance of its profuse flowers in summer. It needs to be planted with its roots in the shade, and its flowering top in sun or light shade. Plants need to be chosen with care as they can grow to a substantial size. The cultivars ‘Graham Thomas’[3] and ‘Serotina’[4] have gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.

Written on October 16th, 2012 , Fruits Tags:

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