Honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum)
Lonicera periclymenum, common honeysuckle, is Shakespeare's "luscious woodbine". It's one of those British plants that looks so exotic it's difficult to believe it's native. It's not just a beauty visually, but gives a heady scent, particularly in the evenings and at night. Why? Because it's principally pollinated by long tongued bumblebees, but more importantly moths, like this equally stunning Elephant Hawk Moth. They're said to be able to pick up Lonicera's scent from up to 1/4 mile away. Unsurprisingly perhaps, it's also a food plant for a range of moth larvae. More oddly, dormice eat its flowers. Once pollinated, honeysuckle produces bright red berries, which are eaten by songbirds.
Lonicera is a welcome addition to any native or country hedge, where it can scramble through other shrubs and trees. It needs at least semi-shade to get going. I'm still trying to find a hazel walking stick up which it has spiralled - clockwise, as opposed to bindweed.
Honeysuckle berries are poisonous, but the flowers are edible and I've seen a number of recipes using them, from tea to jelly.
We supply honeysuckle in 9cm pots.
Provenance certificates are available on request for our honeysuckle plants, which are from the Southwest of England.
Suppliers: Perrie Hale Forest Nursery
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Time to Ultimate Height
Clay, loam, sand, chalk
Neutral, acid, alkaline
Sheltered or exposed
Full shade, partial shade, full sun