Lonicera

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Lonicera

Honeysuckles
Lonicera japonica flowers.jpg
Genus: Lonicera
Family: Caprifoliaceae
Type: Vines and shrubs

Honeysuckles (genus Lonicera; syn. Caprifolium Mill.) are arching shrubs or twining vines in the family Caprifoliaceae, native to the Northern Hemisphere. There are about 180 species of honeysuckle, with by far the greatest diversity in China, where over 100 species occur; by comparison, Europe and North America have only about 20 native species each. Widely known species include Lonicera periclymenum (European Honeysuckle), Lonicera japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle, White Honeysuckle, or Chinese Honeysuckle) and Lonicera sempervirens (Coral Honeysuckle, Trumpet Honeysuckle, or Woodbine Honeysuckle).

Generic Characteristics[edit]

The leaves are opposite, simple, and from 1–10 cm long; most are deciduous but some are evergreen. Many of the species have sweetly-scented, tubular flowers that produce a sweet, edible nectar. The fruit is a red, blue or black berry containing several seeds; in most species the berries are mildly poisonous, but a few (notably Lonicera caerulea) have edible berries.

Species[edit]

Cultivation and uses[edit]

Lonicera xylosteum (Fly Honeysuckle) is a common homeopathic remedy, used for asthma, breathing difficulties and syphilis. Lonicera periclymenum (European honeysuckle) is an uncommon homeopathic remedy, used for irritability with violent outbursts.

Wood cuttings from the species Lonicera tartarica, native to Eurasia, are sold as cat toys. The wood contains nepetalactone, which is the active ingredient found in catnip. Many breeds of cats react to the scent of the wood and will paw, lick or rub against it.

Lonicera japonica and Lonicera maackii (Amur Honeysuckle) are considered invasive species in the United States and in New Zealand. Honeysuckle can be controlled by cutting, flaming, or burning the plant to root level and repeating on two-week increments until nutrient reserves in the roots are depleted. Honeysuckle can also be controlled through annual applications of glyphosate, or through grubbing if high labor and soil destruction are not of concern.

Honeysuckles are also eaten by children, who remove the blossom by hand to suck at the sweet nectar in the center.

Another name for honeysuckle is woodbine; and eglantine is used in Milton's L'Allegro.

During Victorian times, teenage girls were forbidden to bring honeysuckle home because it was thought to induce erotic dreams.

Pests and Diseases[edit]

The plant is eaten by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species - see w:list of Lepidoptera which feed on Honeysuckles.

Aphids:

Scale Insects:

Hoppers:

Whiteflies:

Mealybugs:

Bugs:

Beetles:

  • Flea Beetles

Caterpillars:

Sawflies:

Mites:

  • Clover Mite

References[edit]