Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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 Seed and Plant Sources Questions

Best places to obtain native plants
July 13, 2006 - Where is the best place to get native plants ?
view the full question and answer

Resources for designing a landscape in Florida
November 03, 2007 - I have a large backyard that was devastated by Hurricane Wilma 2 years ago. I am tired of looking at bare grass. Is there a good lanscaping resource that I can design a rather large landscape. I reall...
view the full question and answer

Source for non-native Crown of Thorns from Bulverde TX
May 04, 2013 - Can you please tell me where I can buy a Crown of Thorns plant in or near Bulverde, Tx.
view the full question and answer

Growing non-native and exotic plants in New Oxford PA
October 24, 2010 - Is there a palm tree that would grow in New Oxford PA? Also do you know where I could find a place to buy Exotic and Unusual Plant Seeds from around the World. I would like one that has a good reputa...
view the full question and answer

Mixed non-native sod in El Paso, TX
May 19, 2010 - Hello, My family and I just finished laying sod in our backyard. We thought we could save some money by buying scraps from a sod farm nearby. It never dawned on us to ask if the sod we were buying w...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.