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DIERVILLA lonicera

Image of Diervilla lonicera

Mark A. Miller

Family

Caprifoliaceae

Botanical Name

DIERVILLA lonicera

Plant Common Name

Bush Honeysuckle, Dwarf Bush Honeysuckle, Northern Bush Honeysuckle

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

A compact, adaptable plant for many dry garden applications, the tiny yellow-orange fragrant blossoms and the yellowish fall foliage display of the northern bush honeysuckle are pleasing. A mounding deciduous shrub, it's native to drier woodlands from southern Canada to North Carolina and Iowa in the United States. It is rather short-lived shrub and grows from spreading rhizomes (underground stems), often naturally rejuvenating after fires in pine woodlands.

The oval lance-like leaves emerge in spring with a bronze-red tint and then mature to bronze-green. The pointed leaves are held in opposite pairs. In mid- and late summer, tiny clusters of fragrant flowers, each with five petals appear, first yellow-green in color and aging to orange-yellow or red-purple. Often overlooked, they are pretty when viewed closely and smelled. After bee pollination, the green capsules form that ripen to brown. Although fall foliage coloring is inconsistent, it is possible to get pretty flushes of yellow-red.

Grow northern bush honeysuckle in partial sun to partial shade in any variety of average to inferile, well-drained soils (sand. loam or clay). It is tolerant of winter cold, full sun, and dry and alkaline soils. It is an unassuming plant, but nonetheless great to incorporate into a mixed shrub border or a foundation planting, albeit short-lived. With such light and soil type adaptability it has potential to be a great groundcover for dry hillsides needing erosion control. This species is being increasingly recommended as an alternative to the more invasive barberry (Berberis thunbergii) in North American gardens.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 7

  • Sunset Zone

    A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    15"-34" / 38.1cm - 86.4cm

  • Width

    16"-28" / 40.6cm - 71.1cm

  • Bloom Time

    Summer

  • Native To

    North America, United States, Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic United States, Southeastern United States, North-Central United States, Canada

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Cushion/Mound-forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Orange, Light Yellow, Yellow Green

  • Fruit Color

    Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Light Green, Bronze

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green, Bronze

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Yellow, Red, Bronze

  • Bark Color

    Orange, Sandy Brown

  • Bark Color Modifier

    Striped/Striated

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Exfoliating

  • Usage

    Container, Foundation, Groundcover, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes