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Honeysuckle

Plant

Lonicera periclymenum

Honeysuckle is a vigorous climber with green, oval leaves. It is a common species in hedgerows and is a great addition to a wildlife garden. It can be trained up a wall or fence, but looks best scrambling through a hedge.

There are some 180 species of honeysuckle, including the native wild flower, also known as woodbine. These range from stocky evergreen bushes to vigorous climbers.

It will grow in most soils, but does best in dryish loam. It prefers full sun and tolerates partial shade.

If it is pruned hard it thickens up to become an ideal nest and roost site.

To plant a honeysuckle, dig a hole larger than the rootball, about 30 cm from a fence or wall, and add compost. Fill with soil level to the top of the rootball, firm in and water well. Keep moist through the summer.

Honeysuckle needs support to cling to as it grows, so spread out the shoots as they grow and tie in.

Animals that benefit

  • Flowers attract bumblebees, butterflies and moths to drink nectar, including the hummingbird hawk moth.

  • Bullfinches, warblers and thrushes eat the berries.   

Vital statistics

Native: Yes
Flowers: Highly scented, tubular, pink and cream flowers , from June to September
Fruits: Red berries in tight clusters in late summer and autumn

Calendar

Not seen in JanuaryNot seen in FebruaryNot seen in MarchSeen in AprilSeen in MaySeen in JuneNot seen in JulyNot seen in AugustNot seen in SeptemberNot seen in OctoberNot seen in NovemberNot seen in December

Key to calendar