L. dioica is a liana – a woody vine that roots in the ground but cannot support its own weight. There’s a new word to add to your vocabulary!
Limber honeysuckle is a climbing vine-like shrub with branches arching or twining 3-10 ft. from the plant. Flowers are typically deep red to maroon, sometimes yellow and sometimes becoming yellow with age – how cool is that! Distinctive tubular flowers with yellow stamens appear at the end of one-year old branches. Clusters of orange to red berries follow. Deciduous leaves are for the most part opposite, but the first few pairs at the ends of stems are connate (the two leaves are fused together around the stem) and appear united like a disk. Another new word to add to your vocab! (These fused leaves are a good way to differentiate our native honeysuckle from the non-native honeysuckle whose terminal leaves are distinct and not fused.) Fall foliage is yellow. Branches are twining and may take root when they touch the ground, forming clonal plants.
The species is not dioecious as the name would suggest; its flowers are perfect and only one plant is needed for fertilization.
Attracts hummingbirds and birds. Special value to native bees.
Providing a trellis is a great way to display the abundant flowers of this plant, but it also may be allowed to creep along the ground. Prune immediately after flowering if necessary. Very adaptable plant – leave it alone to thrive on its own!
Height: 3-10 ft.
Spread: 3-6 ft.
Bloom time: May to June
Sun: full sun to part shade
Conflicting reports on deer resistance
photo credit: Rob Routledge, Sault College, Bugwood.org