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Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

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Diervilla lonicera (Northern bush honeysuckle)
Makin, Julie

Diervilla lonicera

Diervilla lonicera Mill.

Northern Bush Honeysuckle, Northern Bush-honeysuckle, Diervilla

Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle Family)

Synonym(s): Diervilla diervilla, Diervilla lonicera var. hypomalaca

USDA Symbol: dilo

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N), SPM (N)

Northern bush-honeysuckle is a small, mound-shaped, deciduous shrub to 3 ft. Exfoliating bark reveals orange inner bark. Dark-green leaves change from yellow to red in autumn. Small, bell-shaped flowers are yellow-green at first, becoming orange or purplish-red.


From the Image Gallery

31 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet tall.
Leaf: Dark Green
Fruit: Brown

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red , Orange , Yellow , Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug


USA: AL , CT , DE , GA , IA , IL , IN , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , NC , ND , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: MB , NB , NL , NS , ON , PE , QC
Native Distribution: Nf. to Man., s. to s. New England, NC mts., n.e. IN & n.e. IA
Native Habitat: Dry woods; sandy sites

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Dry, rocky, slightly acid soils.
Conditions Comments: Bush honeysuckle suckers freely, forming broad thickets with age. It is very short-lived.


Use Wildlife: Low.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Bumble Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.


Description: Propagate by seed or cuttings. Both softwood and semi-hardwoods cuttings root readily.
Seed Collection: Fruits of this genus are usually hand-picked and seeds are extracted by maceration.
Seed Treatment: No special treatment.
Commercially Avail: yes

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Plant identfication
October 21, 2009
Hi...Can you please identfy the tall, evergreen shrub with purple plum-colored foliage that I have noticed in winter locally?...Hope so, need he color! THX
view the full question and answer

Native plants of dune erosion control in Michigan
May 30, 2008
We care for Lake Michigan dune near our home in New Buffalo and would like to provide erosion control with native species that will also enhance the beauty of the dune with long lasting flowers. The ...
view the full question and answer

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE

Web Reference

Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Diervilla lonicera in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Diervilla lonicera in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Diervilla lonicera


Record Modified: 2023-02-06
Research By: TWC Staff

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