Lonicera periclymenum, common names honeysuckle, common honeysuckle, European honeysuckle or woodbine, is a species of flowering plant in the family Caprifoliaceae native to much of Europe. Growing to 7 m (23 ft) or more in height, it is a vigorous evergreen twining climber. It is found as far north as southern Norway and Sweden. In the UK it is one of two native honeysuckles, the other being Lonicera xylosteum. It is often found in woodland or in hedgerows or scrubland. The tubular, two-lipped flowers are creamy white or yellowish and very sweet smelling (especially during the night). The plant is usually pollinated by moths or long-tongued bees and develops bright red berries.
Lonicera periclymenum peaches and cream honeysuckle
Honeysuckle, or woodbine, has been a valued part of Britain's ecology for centuries. It is mentioned by Shakespeare:
"I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine"
British rock band Dire Straits mentions Honeysuckle in the opening lines of their 1980 song "Expresso Love":
"She gets the sun in the daytime
Perfume in the dusk
And she comes out in the night time
With a honeysuckle musk"
The plant was voted the County flower of Warwickshire in 2002 following a poll by the wild plant conservation charity Plantlife.
L. periclymenum is one of several honeysuckle species valued in the garden, for its ability to twine around other plants, or to cover unsightly walls or outbuildings; and for the intense fragrance of its profuse flowers in summer. It needs to be planted with its roots in the shade, and its flowering top in sun or light shade. Plants need to be chosen with care as they can grow to a substantial size. The cultivars 'Graham Thomas' and 'Serotina' have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.