Lonicera – Popular Shrubs for the Garden
The loniceras are the Honeysuckles and the native Lonicera periclymenum is also known as the Woodbine. This has a couple of varieties, more often planted in gardens than the wild kind and both deserving a place because they follow each other in flower, giving a continuous display between them from May to October.
The Early Dutch Honeysuckle, Lonicera periclymenum belgica, with reddish-purple, starts the season in late spring, and the Late Dutch, Lonicera p. serotina, with somewhat richer coloured flowers, carries it into the autumn.
There are numerous others, however, some more vigorous, some lacking the delicious fragrance one associates with these plants, but with larger flowers.
One of the finest is the hybrid, Lonicera X americana, which is extremely free-flowering with large flowers opening white but ageing to deep yellow, in big clusters in June or July. They lack fragrance but the plant is worth growing for the speed with which it covers a pergola, fence or other support.
The native Woodbine flourishes on heavy clay soils and all loniceras do well in shade, although they will not object to sunnier situations. The twiners need some support for their growths and often look well if they are allowed to scramble through other shrubs or into trees.
They needonly if they become too vigorous, when it is sufficient to shorten the strongest shoots in autumn.
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