Lonicera, commonly known as Honeysuckle, is a genus of about 100 species of shrubs and climbers in the family Caprifoliaceae, native to northern hemisphere.
Honeysuckle produces opposite, simple and oval leaves and colorful, trumpet-shaped or tube-shaped flowers. The flowers grow in clusters at the branch tips and come in various colors, from white to deep red. They are a popular nectar source for butterflies and bees, and most of them are heavily scented.
The genus name was given in honor of Adam Lonitzer (1528-1586), a German herbalist, physician, and botanist.
The common name “Honeysuckle” is derived from the practice of tearing off the bottom of the flower to suck out the sweet nectar in the center.
The name actually originates from the tradition of children biting off the ends of the plant to enjoy the drops of nectar inside.
Honeysuckle signifies purehappiness, prosperity and faith in the future.
These flowers also symbolize sweetness and affection, due to the sweet aroma they produce.
Some say that Honeysuckles keep negativity away and protect your garden from evil.
These plants have long been associated with superstition. They were often grown in gardens or near houses to repel witches and evil spirits.
Interesting facts about Lonicera:
Is Honeysuckle Invasive?
Some species are classified asinvasive because they can outcompete the native plants. They can take over your garden and strangle other plants.
Lonicera japonica. commonly known as Japanese Honeysuckle has become a major invasive species in North America.
Benefits and Uses
Honeysuckles have many medicinal uses. These plants have been used to treat a variety of illnesses including skin problems, digestive problems, nausea, headache, flue and cold. Honeysuckle is also good for treating rheumatoid arthritis, hepatitis, dysentery and hemorrhoids. It has antioxidant properties and can help to maintain blood sugar levels, aid hormone balance and support the metabolism. It has also anti-aging properties, which creates youthful elasticity for the skin.
Some species, such as Lonicera caerulea and Lonicera villosa, produce berries that are edible, but are not widely used. The berries can vary in color from white to yellow, red, blue and black. However, some species have berries that are mildly toxic to humans. In any case, you must be careful to only eat the edible varieties!
The leaves of some species can be consumed as vegetable.
Honeysuckle is widely used in the cosmetic industry as it has a strong fragrance. The plant is also high in vitamin C, which explains why it’s an ingredient in many beauty products.
Some varieties, such as Coral Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) and Japanese Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica), are cultivated for ornamental purposes.
The flowers come in shades of white, yellow, pink, orange and red.
Spring, Autumn, Winter, Summer
Honeysuckles range in height from 60 cm (2 ft) to 9 m (30 ft) tall.
Some species prefer fertile, rich, moist and well-drained soil, while others will grow in any well-drained soil.