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"Possibility and promise greet me each day as I walk out into my garden. My vigor is renewed when I breathe in the earthiness and feel the dirt between my fingers. My garden is a peaceful spot to refresh my soul." Meems

Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cold Hardy Files: Lonicera sempervirens

Lonicera sempervirens Coral Honeysuckle

During the summer months it is the coral honeysuckle that the hummers visit often. So many times I was only a few feet away from them as their long beaks plunged to the interior of the open, trumpet-like red flowers. It usually happened when I had a garden hose in my hand and not my camera.
This is one of my favorite Florida natives given that it is hardy in every season and blooms nearly all year long. This vine is not at all aggressive like Japanese honeysuckle L.japonica  but it will easily clamber over fences, arbors, or trellises.
Hardiness zones: 4-11
Soil: Fertile, moist, rich, acid to slightly alkaline.
Light: Full sun to part shade.

The Coral Honeysuckle vine is flushing out with blooms right now 
bringing lots of cheer and brightness in the midst of winter.


  1. I'm going to be on the look out for this, it's wonderful and a native too.

  2. One of my favorites too. It goes dormant here during winter but is one of the first to send out a few green leaves to test the weather.

  3. FlowerLady,
    This one would look very nice in your garden.

    This one has a wide hardiness range. So pleasing to find something we both grow.

  4. I love this plant, too; and I have a question for you. Do you ever trim it when it's growing up a trellis? If so, what are your parameters?

  5. This is one of my faves to observe out in the wild, but I've yet to find one for sale in a nursery. I definitely want to add this one, despite my vine phobia.

  6. The jury is still out as to whether I have one of these coral honeysuckle vines or a confederate jasmine. Mine is not showing any blooms so ..... I guess the springtime will tell. At any rate I certainly would love to add one or more to grow on a trellis against my fence. Love your photos.

  7. Beautiful photos! Does this honeysuckle have nice fragrance?

  8. Cleangreennatives,
    I have two of these wonderful vines ~ both growing on a trellis. They will get a soft prune within the next couple of weeks. Using my pruners I'll only take off the few stems that have rambled along the ground a little too far. Other than that I let it clamber all over itself.

    It's a good one even for those with vine phobias. I think you're just going to have to make a trip over this way this spring to visit some of our great nurseries. :-)

    I'm thinking jasmine since it hasn't produced any blooms. The piece you took home must not have helped you with the ID???

    Good question. The showy, tubular flowers do not have a fragrance... but the hummers know how to find them regardless.

  9. This is one of my favorite vines. My mother gave me two that were coming up near her vine last summer, and they're just now reaching the top of the arbor. I'm looking forward to their blooms.

  10. Please, Meems, direct me to the best (and preferably *biggest*) nurseries in your area. I am occasionally in the Tampa area, but there for specific purposes, so I can't run around searching for nurseries. But...if I knew of a great place beforehand, the address would definitely get put into "Lola" (our GPS) as a stop on the route.

  11. Meems, This is one of my favorites for winter. It does not bloom a lot but I enjoy the blooms I get. Janis

  12. The color and shape of this lovely native is a sight to see-especially when I'm surrounded by a brown oasis. ;0)

  13. Susan,
    I found some rooted pieces this week nearby as well. I'm going to pot them up to spread the wealth around the garden. Yours will probably bloom soon.

    Will do... probably easier to e-mail me with some information. It kind of depends on what you are looking for ... I know nurseries by what I can get from them and I'm always checking. Rick Brown says you can find this plant at Home Depot in spring. I wonder if yours will have it???

    This one grows well in shade or sun. It definitely blooms better in more sun.

    Another one to jot down for the future. This one stays colorful in winter!

  14. I was thumbing through a copy of "Southern Living" while waiting in the dentist's office today and saw this plant among among the top ten recommended plants. Your photos are so much better, Meems! I've always loved the smell of honeysuckle, but I've always been afraid I'd plant the aggressive vine by mistake. I'll have to look for this one.

  15. Rose,
    This honeysuckle has some fabulous characteristics but fragrance is not one of them. But it is well-behaved!

  16. Hehe. I live in the middle of the Peace River's long, lonely stretch o' nuttin'. We have no Home Depot in these parts. I sometimes make an absurd drive to the modern world. If I'm lucky, I will actually get to stop by HD. That happens two or three times a year.

  17. Hi Meems...big hugs. Thank you for the link love and comments of support. They are very much appreciated.

    I am a honeysuckle fan. I had winchester the past few years with blooms similar to yours. Love to watch the hummers in action getting a drink.

  18. FG,
    E-mail me and let me know what you're most interested in and I'll definitely give you some tips on where to shop in this county... and sometimes beyond.

    Not familiar with winchester but honeysuckle is a definite favorite of the hummers. Hugs back to you.


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