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WILSON'S HONEYSUCKLE

Lonicera nitida

Honeysuckle Family [Caprifoliaceae]

month8may month8jun month8june

Berries: berryZpossible        berryZbluish berryZpurple  (slightly poisonous, φ6mm, translucent)
berry8aug berry8sep berry8sept berry8oct

category
category8Shrubs
category
category8Broadleaf
category
category8Evergreen
status
statusZneophyte
flower
flower8cream
morph
morph8hemizygo morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5
type
typeZtubular
stem
stem8round
toxicity
toxicityZlowish

3rd May 2014, footpath behind houses, Adlington, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
At up to 1.8m it grows up to nearly twice the height of the otherwise very similar larger-flowered, larger-leaved Box-Leaved Honeysuckle.


3rd May 2014, footpath behind houses, Adlington, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Branched a little like Wall Cotoneaster and with leaves as small it is often mistaken for a Cotoneaster, but the leaves are opposite rather than alternate.


3rd May 2014, footpath behind houses, Adlington, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Flowers in pairs in leaf axils. Four un-opened flower buds centre.


3rd May 2014, footpath behind houses, Adlington, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Flowers are few and difficult to spot both on account of their smallness and their inconspicuous colour, a creamy-green. Rear of leaves showing.


3rd May 2014, footpath behind houses, Adlington, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Flowers shorter than the similar flowers of Box-leaved Honeysuckle, between 5-7mm with a conical tubular body covered in short stubbly hair and very short stubby petals. Five stamens with cream coloured pollen, and a stigma with a lime-green discoidal stigma.


3rd May 2014, footpath behind houses, Adlington, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Petals arranged slightly zygomorphically, with two nearly fused petals and three wider spaced others opposite. Some are nearly actinomorphic.


3rd May 2014, footpath behind houses, Adlington, Lancs. Photo: © RWD


3rd May 2014, footpath behind houses, Adlington, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Stigma has long thin hairs.


3rd May 2014, footpath behind houses, Adlington, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Leaves opposite, and between 6-16mm long are about half the length of those ofBox-Leaved Honeysuckle, but un-like that, the leaves are often fatter near the stalk and rounded at the end.


3rd May 2014, footpath behind houses, Adlington, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The stems are hairy, often reddish-brown and the leaves may have reddish edges (although this may be a feature of a cultivar, as may the golden-green colour of the leaves).


Not to be semantically confused with : Mrs Wilson's Barberry, a shrub with a similar name belonging to a differing family.

Easily mistaken for : Box-Leaved Honeysuckle (Lonicera pileata) because both have a similar jizz and purple berries but Wilson's Honeysuckle has shorter leaves ([4] 6-16mm as opposed to [6] 12-32mm of Box-Leaved Honeysuckle) and similar but slightly shorter conically-tubular actinomorphic/hemi-zygomorphic flowers (5-7mm as opposed to 6-8mm of Box-Leaved Honeysuckle). The berries are similarly coloured translucent purple and are roughly the same size for both plants, 6mm. Although Box-Leaved Honeysuckle grows to only about half the height (1m) as does Wilson's Honeysuckle (1.8m), the leaves and flowers of the latter are larger than that of the shorter Box-Leaved Honeysuckle plant.

Slight resemblance to : Wall Cotoneaster. Wjen not in flower Wilson's Honeysuckle (Lonicera nitida) has a slight resemblance to Wall Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster horizontalis) on account of the herringbone pattern of the branched branches, as does Box-Leaved Honeysuckle, but the branches are not all parallel to each other and diverge somewhat. The leaves of Wall Cotoneaster are also a similar shape to those of Wilson's Honeysuckle but alternate rather than in opposite pairs.

Not directly related to : Himalayan Honeysuckle [which is in the same Honeysuckle Family but in a differing genus, Leycestaria].

An evergreen and broadleaf non-native garden shrub native to China and Yunnan which escapes as bird-sown occasionally. It is widely planted as a roadside border shrub by Municipal Councils and used as hedging, since it is exceedingly tolerant of heavy pruning or clipping. Indeed, topiary can be made from it.

It has a large translucent and purple berry in which the seeds can be discerned. Several cultivars exist, popular ones include 'Baggesen's Gold' and 'Briloni' (aka 'Edmee Gold'). It is not known which cultivars the above photos might represent, but the leaves do seem golden green. The plant is more shade-resistant than other Honeysuckles and can be found naturalised in woods, hedges, banks, scrub, and rough ground.

Because it is a vigorous grower the plant is often used as a bonsai, since the leaves are also small, as are the flowers, although the native variety seldom flowers.


  Lonicera nitida  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Caprifoliaceae  

Distribution
 family8Honeysuckle family8Caprifoliaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Lonicera
Lonicera
(Honeysuckles)

WILSON'S HONEYSUCKLE

Lonicera nitida

Honeysuckle Family [Caprifoliaceae]