- Written by Kevin R. Lee Kevin R. Lee
- Published: 24 January 2020 24 January 2020
The honeysuckles, Lonicera sp., are another group of essential shrubs in our area. There is a mix of heights from about a metre to the large L. tatarica which grows slowly to about three plus metres.
The honeysuckles also include a vine, Lonicera x brownii, the Dropmore Scarlet Trumpet, or scarlet trumpet honeysuckle, named for its many red trumpet-shaped flowers that are irresistible to hummingbirds.
The Tatarian honeysuckle is a prairie standard, tall with bright red flowers, followed by red berries. Long vertical strips characterize the bark, which many times is further shredded by cats. There is something like catnip in there that cats must just get at. As it ages the Tatarian loses most of its lower branches, usually because of shade. This naturally leaves them open below as a natural "little tree". Removing lower deadwood will naturally create this.
Another prairie standard is the sweetberry honeysuckle, Lonicera caerulea var. edulis, with bright rust-colored bark, thick green foliage and blue berries, growing to about two metres.
On the smaller side is the miniglobe, Lonicera xylosteoides 'Miniglobe', a compact shrub that grows to about a metre, with blue/green leaves and small white flowers.
Honeysuckles are susceptible to the witch's broom aphid. The aphid is especially attracted to fast growing new shoots produced from topping and shearing cuts.