Yellow Honeysuckle

Lonicera flava
Caprifoliaceae (honeysuckles)

A woody, trailing, climbing, or sometimes shrublike honeysuckle. Flowers 1 inch long, tubular, with protruding stamens, in crowded, terminal clusters above a platterlike union of 2 joined leaves that clasp the stem, bright yellow or orange-yellow, lacking purple, rose or brick red along the tube. Blooms April–May. Leaves simple, opposite, sessile, thick, egg-shaped, with a gray, not white underside, tips round to blunt. Upper pair just below the flowers united at the base to form a disk that is about 6 inches across and 2 inches wide, sometimes rounded. Fruit a red or reddish-orange berry.

Stem length: up to 13 feet.
Habitat and conservation: 
Openings and borders of rocky woods, on ledges and upper slopes above bluffs, and rocky ground along steams. Pay attention to the platterlike pair of joined leaves beneath the flower clusters: The invasive exotic Japanese honeysuckle has no such united leaves.
Distribution in Missouri: 
Found primarily in the Ozarks, but it is increasingly available at native plant nurseries and might be found in cultivation statewide.
Human connections: 
Beautiful, fragrant flowers, attractiveness to hummingbirds, and overall hardiness make honeysuckles popular vines for arbors. Yellow honeysuckle is more robust and colorful than the other native honeysuckles and is increasingly available at native plant nurseries. It has been cultivated since 1810.
Ecosystem connections: 
The deep, tubular flowers provide nectar to pollinators able to reach inside. Hummingbirds have long, pointy bills and extendable tongues for this purpose. Birds and small animals eat the ripe berries of this native vine. Deer browse the stems and leaves.
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