Lonicera reticulata (Grape Honeysuckle)
|Also known as:|
|Life cycle:||perennial woody|
|Habitat:||part shade, shade; moist woods, thickets, riverbanks|
|Bloom season:||May - June|
|Plant height:||10 to 15 feet|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||none|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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1 to 3 clusters at the tips of 1-year-old branches, a cluster consisting of 1 to 5 whorls each with 6 stalkless flowers. Flowers are yellow, often fading to orange or red, ¾ to 1 inch long, with a long, slender tube and 2 lips, the upper broad with 4 lobes and the lower narrow and shorter than the tube. Lobes are typically rolled under; surfaces are hairless. Protruding from the tube are 5 yellow-tipped stamens and a long, slender, pale style with a dome-shaped stigma at the tip. The lower half of the floral tube is swollen on one side, and between the flower and cluster stalk is the egg-shaped, green ovary. The cluster stalk is green and hairless. The leaf pair just below the flower are joined at the base, sometimes forming a cup around the cluster, the conjoined leaf pair typically oval to round, the tips rounded.
Leaves and stems:
Leaves are opposite, 1½ to 3½ inches long and nearly as wide, toothless, hairless, oval to round, with a rounded tip that is sometimes shallowly notched. Besides the leaf pair at the tip of a flowering branch, the next 1 or 2 pairs below that may also be joined around the stem (perfoliate). Otherwise, leaves are stalkless or short stalked; stalks are smooth.
Both upper and lower leaf surfaces are covered in a waxy bloom that easily rubs off (glaucous), which can give leaves a blue-green cast. Twigs are green and hairless, becoming brown or yellowish. Older bark is thin, gray and peeling. Stems are few-branched and loosely twine around nearby vegetation or form a bushy mound of stems when other support is lacking. They may take root when they touch the ground, forming clonal plants.
Of the 3 vining honeysuckles in Minnesota, Grape Honeysuckle is the least common, as our southeast counties represent the northwestern edge of its range. The round, hairless leaves further distinguish it from both Wild Honeysuckle (Lonicera dioica) and Hairy Honeysuckle (Lonicera hirsuta) and while the flower colors of all 3 may be red to yellow at various stages, Grape Honeysuckle flowers are completely hairless. L reticulata is known in some references by synonym L. prolifera.
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Where to buy native seed and plants ↓
- Grape Honeysuckle plants, after a rain
- climbing Grape Honeysuckle
- Grape Honeysuckle prior to flowering
- more flowers
Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Houston County.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?