01 April 2011

Coral Honeysuckle Vine



Though it's taken several years, the coral honeysuckle vine, Lonicera sempervirens, is really beginning to fill in and have a lot of blooms. This is a fantastic vine with flowers that are perfect for hummingbirds and is a host to snowberry clearwing hawkmoth larvae.

This native vine doesn't have that sweet, perfumey smell that the invasive Japanese honeysuckle has, which is probably why it wasn't traditionally planted as much in gardens around here (though it is pretty common now, actually).

I have pretty strong memories of pulling out the stamen from those non-native honeysuckle flowers and sucking on the nectar as a child, so even though they can take over the planet, I have a soft spot in my heart for them.

We're trying to train this coral honeysuckle to cross the entire front porch. The only thing is, no hummingbirds yet...where are they? Looks like they are already in San Antonio.

5 comments:

Abbey said...

Thanks for the shout out. In addition to the hummingbird, I have a big bumble bee that buzzes around the coral honeysuckle. Yesterday, I noticed that he has a sneaky technique for getting to the nectar. He's much too big to crawl up the flower so he lands on the outside and cuts a thin line up the side of the flower to reach the good stuff. I've seen the little perforations on the flowers before and I always notice the bee, but this is the first time I've caught him in the act. Very interesting.

Alma Delia said...

Oh yes! They (humming birds) are definietly in SA. Mine has been in my garden since mid March. that and a big black and blue looking bee with a fat abdomen have been alll over my white Salvia that is just brimming with flowers.

Cat said...

I live in Northwest Austin and my friend saw the first hummingbird of the season day before yesterday! They are here!

Annie in Austin said...

They're here, Lee! We've seen the hummingbirds on the birdbath fountain and on our Coral Honeysuckle. I like coral honeysuckle so much it's the title of one of my song parodies.
Even though it's invasive here, I also remember fondly both scent & nectar from the Hall's honeysuckle back in IL.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

The Sage Butterfly said...

Lovely vine! I grew up loving and sucking the juice from the honeysuckle we have in Virginia...as a child. We thought that was so neat, but I am not sure I would do that now. :)