En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
2 ratings

Sunday - June 14, 2009

From: Yorktown, VA
Region: Southwest
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources, Vines
Title: Honeysuckle bush for San Antonio, Tx
Answered by: Jackie OKeefe

QUESTION:

I'm looking for a gift for my brother, living in San Antonio. He loves the native honeysuckle that we both remember from our childhoods. I think I'd like to get him a honeysuckle bush rather than a vine, but my research tells me the native southern variety is invasive. True? Would the northern variety be suitable to southern Texas? Where could I purchase one to send of either variety? Thank you.

ANSWER:

Since you are writing from Virginia and make reference to northern and southern varieties of honeysuckle, I'm guessing that the childhood memories are based there... Virginia has five native honeysuckles, according to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center's Native Plant Database:

Diervilla lonicera(northern bush honeysuckle)

Diervilla sessilifolia (southern bush honeysuckle)

Lonicera dioica (limber honeysuckle)

Lonicera canadensis (American fly honeysuckle)

Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle)

The plant you are thinking may be one of the above. it could also be Lonicera japonica(Japanese honeysuckle), a highly invasive and widespread non-native – fast-growing, difficult to remove and propagated everywhere by birds who consume the berries.

Of those Virginia natives,  Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle) –also known as coral honeysuckle – is  a Texas native as well. This beautiful vine, nearly evergreen in San Antonio, is a great hummingbird attractant and flowers often and profusely. It has the additional attractive feature of NOT being invasive. While it is a vine, it is relatively easy to prune and maintain in a reasonable space.

Another native Texas honeysuckle is the-spring blooming Lonicera albiflora (western white honeysuckle) , a more shrubby honeysuckle, also non-invasive. Its fragrant flowers attract butterflies, and birds like its berries. Deer will browse this plant.

Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle) and Lonicera albiflora (western white honeysuckle) are both commerically available. For specific suppliers, go to the Native Plant Database and select Suppliers which has links to local and regional nurseries, landscapers and seed sources.

 

From the Image Gallery


Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

Western white honeysuckle
Lonicera albiflora

More Vines Questions

Non-native, invasive Asiatic Jasmine from Austin
October 25, 2012 - Is Trachelospermum asiaticum considered a native texas plant? Is there an example growing at the Center that can be viewed?
view the full question and answer

Smoky Mountains Shaded Slope Plant Suggestions
April 29, 2013 - We live in a very shady spot in Great Smoky Mountains in Western North Carolina. We would like to plant vegetation on a sloped area behind our cottage to stop erosion after building an addition. Our h...
view the full question and answer

Identification of vine with green flowers
May 23, 2012 - Trying to identify a vine with 5-petaled ~1 cm dia green flowers (w/ barely perceptible white & black speckles). I have 3 photos I can send (showing flowers & leaves). The flower petals are almost...
view the full question and answer

What is wrong with my cross vine (Bignonia capreolata?
March 08, 2009 - I have a crossvine (Bignonia capreolata) that has grown and bloomed beautifully for about 7 years. Then last year the bloom was significantly less and the bottom growth almost nonexistant. The leaves ...
view the full question and answer

Problems with recently planted trumpet vine from Worcester MA
October 20, 2012 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a question about my recently planted Trumpet Vines. First of all, I live in Massachusetts, zone 6. The soil is perfect for the two vines, which I bought from a local nur...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center