Lonicera canadensis (Fly Honeysuckle)
|Also known as:|
|Life cycle:||perennial woody|
|Habitat:||part shade, shade; woods and forests|
|Bloom season:||May - June|
|Plant height:||2 to 4 feet|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: FACU MW: FACU NCNE: FACU|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Hanging pairs of flowers at the tip of 1-year-old branches and arising from leaf axils near the branch tips, the pair of flowers at the end of a slender stalk up to 1 inch long. Flowers are ½ to ¾ inch long, funnel-shaped, pale yellow sometimes tinged purple, with 5 flaring triangular lobes. Emerging from the tube are 5 pale yellow stamens and a long, slender, pale yellow style with a dome-shaped stigma at the tip. At the base of the floral tube, on the outside edge, is a small hump, and between the flower and stalk is the oval, green ovary. At the base of the ovary is a small, scale-like bract. The cluster stalk is slender and hairless.
Leaves and stems:
Leaves are opposite, 1½ to 3½ inches long, 1 to 2 inches wide, lance-elliptic to egg-shaped, blunt or pointed at the tip, rounded to somewhat heart-shaped at the base, on a short stalk. Edges are toothless but fringed in fine hairs (ciliate). Upper surface is hairless, lower is paler than the upper and may be sparsely hairy. Twigs are green to purplish, hairless, and solid with a white pith. Older bark is brown to gray and often peeling in strips. Branches are straggling and may take root where they touch the ground, forming clonal plants.
A common sight in Minnesota's woodlands and forests north of the Metro, Fly Honeysuckle is easy to ID from the pairs of flowers or bright red fruits, and leaves with ciliate edges. The flowers are similar to Mountain Fly Honeysuckle (Lonicera villosa), which has a pair of flowers about half the size, sharing a single ovary and producing a single blue-black berry, and leaves hairy on both surfaces.
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Photos by K. Chayka taken in Pine County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Banning State Park, Pine County, and in various locations in northern Minnesota.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?