OCTOBER, 2017: TWINBERRY HONEYSUCKLE
When the shaded landscape calls for a grouping of low height shrubs Lonicera involucrata, or Twinberry Honeysuckle will fit the bill. It is a native to northern and western North America and will add color and interest to the shade garden. It has small but noticeable yellow flowers in late spring and early summer and produces black berries that appear as a set of “twins” in mid-summer to fall. It loves shade and will tolerate moisture. In Boulder Colorado landscapes, it will grow to 5’ high and maybe 6’ wide, giving it a more broad and flat appearance than upright. Larger leaves are shiny and bright green throughout the summer months, without much fall color interest.
Twinberry Honeysuckle attracts hummingbirds and birds feed on the fruits. The berries are edible, but distasteful. Plants prefer partial shade to shaded environments, but will tolerate full sun. Natively, they are found along streambeds and in moist forest openings where they are somewhat protected from sun and wind. They are found at sea level up to subalpine environments, so are a good candidate for Colorado mountain landscapes. Try some in your shade garden for added interest.
For more information see https://plants.usda.gov/factsheet/pdf/fs_loin5.pdf
Photos by Keith Williamson