Coral honeysuckle: A viney beauty

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Coral honeysuckle is a native North American plant sometimes called trumpet honeysuckle because of its slender tubular blossoms.

Coral honeysuckle will vine into bushes, shrubs and small trees. Generally its vines do not grow more than about 20 feet long, and it will not choke out host plants like its better known aggressive relative, the non-native Japanese honeysuckle.

Beautiful red flowers with yellow insides and dark green glossy evergreen leaves are the hallmark of the coral honeysuckle. It is a hardy plant that will thrive in a well-drained area with partial shade. This plant can make a great addition to any yard. It will grow on a large trellis, or seeds may be planted near the base of a dogwood or red bud tree.

Blooming from late April into mid-July, coral honeysuckle flowers attract hummingbirds, bees and butterflies.

During fall and winter the dark red fruits will attract songbirds like goldfinches and robins. Songbirds like cardinals and Carolina wrens may also nest in the vines.

Through the Woods is a weekly nature photo column by Aaron Horrell. Find this column at semissourian.com to order a reprint of the photo. Find more work by him at the Painted Wren Gallery.

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