Lonicera hirsuta (Hairy Honeysuckle)
|Also known as:|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; sandy or rocky soil; woodland edges, forest clearings, thickets, stream banks, forested swamps|
|Bloom season:||June - July|
|Plant height:||3 to 16 foot vine|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: FAC MW: FAC NCNE: FAC|
|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. Flower color is usually yellow, sometimes orange to red and a single cluster may have flowers covering the whole color range. Flowers are ½ 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, both lobes often tightly rolled under. Outer surface is finely glandular-hairy, inner surface is hairy, especially in the throat. Protruding from the tube are 5 slender stamens with yellow tips and a long, slender style with a dome-shaped stigma at the tip. The base of the floral tube is slightly swollen on one side, and between the flower and cluster stalk is the egg-shaped, green ovary.
The leaf pair just below the flower are joined at the base, forming a disk around the cluster, the fused leaf pair oval-elliptic to round, the tips pointed or rounded. Cluster stalks are green and finely glandular-hairy.
Leaves and stems:
Leaves are opposite, 2 to 5 inches long, 1½ to 3 inches wide, toothless, broadly egg-shaped to oval-elliptic, rounded or pointed at the tip, rounded or somewhat tapering at the base. Besides the leaf pair at the tip of a flowering branch, the next pair below that may also be joined around the stem (perfoliate). Otherwise, leaves are stalkless or short stalked; stalks are glandular-hairy. The upper surface is dark green and variably covered in soft hairs, the lower pale and more densely hairy especially along the veins, and the edges are fringed in fine hairs.
New twigs are green and variably covered in short glandular and longer non-glandular hairs, becoming gray-brown and hairless the second year. Older bark is thin, gray and peeling. Stems are few-branched and loosely twine around nearby vegetation for support. They may take root when they touch the ground, forming clonal plants.
Of the 3 vining honeysuckles in Minnesota, Hairy Honeysuckle is the hairiest, and Minnesota is at the southwestern edge of its range. The velvety hairy leaves and glandular hairy stems and stalks distinguish it from both Wild Honeysuckle (Lonicera dioica) and Grape Honeysuckle (Lonicera reticulata).
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Where to buy native seed and plants ↓
- Hairy Honeysuckle plant
- Hairy Honeysuckle with Wild Sarsaparilla
- Hairy Honeysuckle forest edge habitat
- Hairy Honeysuckle climbing up Buckthorn
- hairs on leaf edges and lower surface
- leaf bases and branch buds
- young leaves
- cluster whorls
- flowers are yellow to orange-red
Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Carlton, Lake and St. Louis counties.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?