Lonicera is a genus of flowering plants in the family Caprifoliaceae, comprising about 180 species. It is native to Northern Hemisphere and is commonly known as Honeysuckle. About 100 species occur in China; 20 species each in Europe and North America.
The genus name was in honor of a German botanist, Adam Lonicer (10 Oct 1528 - 29 May 1586).
There are a few widely known species such as Lonicera periclymenum (European Honeysuckle or Woodbine), Lonicera japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle, White Honeysuckle, or Chinese Honeysuckle) and Lonicera sempervirens (Coral Honeysuckle, Trumpet Honeysuckle, or Woodbine Honeysuckle). Hummingbirds are attracted to these plants.
Lonicera is a deciduous or evergreen climber or shrub, with fragrant winter or summer flowers. The leaves are opposite, simple oval, 1 - 10 cm long. It can be grown to beautified a wall or fences, or as an ornamental plant in the garden. Many species bears bell-shaped, sweetly-scented flowers that produce a sweet, edible nectar. The fruit is a red, blue or black berry containing several seeds. In most species, the beries are mildly poisonous, but a few species has edible berries such as Lonicera caerulea. Lonicera species are used as food plants by larvae of some Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) species including The Engrailed, Garden Tiger Moth and Swallow-tailed Moth.
Lonicera caerulea (Blue-berried Honeysuckle, Sweetberry Honeysuckle) is native throughout the cool temperate Northern Hemisphere. It is a deciduous shrub, growing to 1.5 - 2 m tall. It has leaves that are opposite, oval, 3-8 cm long and 1-3 cm broad, green with a waxy texture. It produces flowers that are in pairsn the shoots, yellowish-white, 12 - 16 mm long, with five equal lobes. The fruit is a blue berry about 1 cm in diameter.
Lonicera periclymenum (European honeysuckle, Woodbine, Common honeysuckle) is a deciduous climber native to the much of Europe. It can grows up to 10 m high. It is often found in woodlands or in hedgerows or scrublands. Lonicera periclymenum is commonly grown as an ornamental plant in gardens and many cultivars have been developed for this purpose. It produces flowers that are creamy white or yellowish, trumpet-shaped and fragrant (especially during the night). These are followed by bright red berries. The plant is usually pollinated by moths and long-tongued bees.
Lonicera is hardy and grows well in full sun or partial shade, in well-drained soil. Propagation is by ripe seed; semi-ripe cuttings (evergreen) in summer; greenwood or hardwood cuttings (deciduous) in summer or autumn.