Lonicera periclymenum

9 Jul

Lonicera periclymenum (11/06/2011, Walworth, London)

Lonicera periclymenum (11/06/2011, Walworth, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Soil: Moist, well drained

Flowering period: Summer

Eventual Height: 7m

Eventual Spread: 4m

Hardiness: 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b

Family: Caprifoliaceae

Lonicera periclymenum flower (11/06/2011, Walworth, London)

Lonicera periclymenum flower (11/06/2011, Walworth, London)

Lonicera periclymenum is a deciduous climber with a twining habit. This woody-stemmed fully hardy climber bears oval to oblong, mid green leaves that are grey-green underneath. Its inflorescence is fragrant, especially at night and takes the form of long, tubular cream flowers, which are occasionally tinged pink. These are followed by red mildly poisons berries.

Lonicera periclymenum, commonly known as the Common Honeysuckle, Honeysuckle or Woodbine, is native to most of Europe, including the UK. Its common name is derived from how children used to suck the sweet nectar from the base of the flower.

Lonicera periclymenum Leaf (03/07/2015, Walworth, London)

Lonicera periclymenum Leaf (03/07/2015, Walworth, London)

The etymological root of the binomial name Lonicera was named after Adam Lonitzer, a 16th century German botanist and author.  Periclymenum is derived from the Greek periklymenon, who was an Argonaut in Greek mythology who had the ability to change his shape; this is in reference to how the Honeysuckle flower changes shape and colour.

The Landscape architect may find Lonicera periclymenum useful as a fast growing fragrant native climber which is of great benefit to our native fauna. It can also form an important component of native hedge or woodland planting.

Lonicera periclymenum Stem (07/04/2012, Walworth, London)

Lonicera periclymenum Stem (07/04/2012, Walworth, London)

The Royal Horticultural Society have given the cultivars Lonicera periclymenum ‘Graham Thomas’ and ‘Serotina’ their prestigious Award of Garden Merit.

Ecologically, Lonicera periclymenum will attract pollinating insects such as butterflies and honey bees and the larvae or some species of Lepidoptera will feed on its leaves.

Lonicera periclymenum will tolerate almost any soil conditions; it will be happy in acid, neutral or alkaline pH levels, in Chalk, Clay, Sand or Loam based soils in a sheltered or exposed location facing any aspect.

Lonicera periclymenum requires little to no maintenance. It may be trimmed in late winter or spring to control excessive growth.

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