64 Lonicera sempervirensCommon Names: coral honeysuckle, trumpet honeysuckle Family: Caprifoliaceae (honeysuckle Family)
Coral honeysuckle is a twining or trailing woody vine that is evergreen or tardily deciduous in mild climates. The smooth leaves are 1-3 in (2.5-7.6 cm) long and arranged opposite each other along the stem. The last two leaves at the ends of new growth are joined at their bases, cup-like around the stem and the showy flowers are in terminal clusters just beyond. The flowers are tube shaped, about 2 in (5.1 cm) long, coral red or bright orange on the outside and yellow on the inside. The fruits are orange red berries, about 0.25 in (0.6 cm) diameter. Numerous cultivars are available commercially including one with bright yellow flowers.
Coral honeysuckle, Lonicera sempervirens, grows wild in open woodlands, roadsides, fence rows and the edges of clearings, from Connecticut to Nebraska, and south to Texas and Florida.
CulturePrune coral honeysuckle back in the winter to increase flowering. Don't over-fertilize. Light: Prefers full sun, but tolerates partial sun. Moisture: Drought tolerant. Hardiness: USDA Zones 4 - 10. Propagation: Usually by seed.
Coral honeysuckle thrives in containers or in the garden. It is easy to grow, and its flashy flowers will attract ruby-throated hummingbirds and butterflies all summer long. Let it clamber over a fence or give it a trellis of its own. Many gardeners allow coral honeysuckle to climb over shrubs. Unlike its weedy relative, Japanese honeysuckle (L. japonica), coral honeysuckle will not spread out of control, and its sparse vines won't strangle your prize shrubs.
Wherever coral honeysuckle grows, ruby-throated hummingbirds and butterflies will find it. Songbirds relish the juicy fruits. This is a spectacular vine that the local wildlife will enjoy as much as you - plant some!
Steve Christman 09/08/97; updated 2/17/04, 6/24/06