HONEYSUCKLE (Lonicera periclymenum)




There are other cultivars of this climber, but it is this native Honeysuckle, with its fragrant, creamy YELLOW flowers, that spills over the walls of front gardens in our neighbourhood. When the season favours Lonicera periclymenum, every Honeysuckle will be a mass of delicate flowers that invite passerby to come closer and breathe in their fragrance. Flowers appear from May/June to August, followed by red berries in autumn. These turn black and are available for the birds.



Bees’ Favourite.

Honeysuckle is wildlife-friendly; its nectar attracts bumblebees and night-flying moths. Bumblebees whose tongues are too short may resort to biting a hole in the base of the flower tube to reach the nectar. Moths visiting the flowers include Convolvulus Hawk-moth, Privet Hawk-moth, Elephant Hawk-moth, Small Elephant Hawk-moth, Lime Hawk-moth, Shark, Lychnis, Silver Y and Puss Moth. When no insects visit the flower it may be self-pollinated.

The RHS and The Wildlife TrustsWild About the Garden website has a list of the 30 best plants for all bumblebees, whatever the length of their tongues. Honeysuckle is among the top 30.


Lonicera Periclymenum Rhubarb and Custard with squirrel

Lonicera periclymenum ‘Rhubarb and Custard’ with squirrel


Used as an antiseptic, Lonicera periclymenum ‘ in small doses, is a useful addition to cough mixtures.’


 It was believed that if honeysuckle grew around the entrance to a house it prevented a witch from entering. If it grows well in your garden, then you will be protected from evil.

Honeysuckle two

Honeysuckle Lonicera periclymenum, closeup of flowers

Small snail, rose arch remains and curved stem of honeysuckle

Honeysuckle foliage

'Hedge' of Honeysuckle, Clematis, Ivy and Russian Vine over garden fence

‘Hedge’ of Honeysuckle, other climbers over garden fence


The black berries of Honeysuckle are highly toxic. The leaves have anti-inflammatory properties. Flowers and flower buds are used in various infusions and tinctures to treat coughs, catarrh, asthma, headaches and food poisoning. The leaves and flowers are rich in salicylic acid and are used to relieve headaches, colds, flu, fever, aches, pains, arthritis and rheumatism.

Other names: Evening Pride, Irish vine, Fairy trumpets, Goat’s Leaf, Gramophone Horns, Kettle Smocks, Lamps of Scent, Honeybind, Sweet suckle and Trumpet flowers.

silentowl: Folklore of the Hedgerow Part Ten


The Woodbine Public House P1030386.JPG

The Woodbine Public House, Blackstock Road

WOODBINE public house sign



The native Honeysuckle, also known as Woodbine, is enjoyed in the countryside now as it has been for centuries:

‘Oh how sweete and pleasant is Woodbinde, in Woodes or Arbours, after a tender soft rayne, and how friendly doth this herbe if I may so name it, imbrace the bodies, armes, and braunches of trees wyth his long winding stalkes and tender leaves, opening or spreading forth his sweete Lillies, like ladies fingers, among the thornes or bushes.’

Bulwarke of defence against all sicknesse, soareness, and woundes that doe dayly assault mankinde, gathered and practised by William Bullein, Doctor of Physicke, 1562, London.