- Many common "wild" honeysuckles, such as Japanese honeysuckle, are actually invasive.Wild Honeysuckle 2 image by DelB from Fotolia.com
Honeysuckles are a type of climbing vine or shrub native to the Northern Hemisphere. Part of the family Caprifoliaceae, these plants can be found in North America, Asia and Europe. Many honeysuckle varieties in the U.S. look like wild natives, but are actually feral invasive honeysuckles from Japan, China and Europe. Planting North American wild honeysuckle varieties instead of Japanese honeysuckle or bush honeysuckles can help support local ecosystems and attract native butterflies and birds.
- Also called trumpet vine and trumpet flower, this native North American honey suckle has elongated red, orange or coral flowers. It can grow as a bush or a climbing vine and may strangle trees if allowed to grow unchecked. Its nectar is difficult for bees to reach and is normally harvested by hummingbirds and butterflies.
- Also called by its scientific name, Lonicera hispidula, this honeysuckle is native to western North America, from California north to British Columbia. It grows in the form of a shrub or vine and has pink flowers which grow paired on a spike. It grows well in dry soils, and its fruit often attracts birds.
- Found primarily in California, the chaparral honeysuckle prefers wooded foothills, chaparrals and pine forest. It grows primary on slopes and produces tube-shaped yellow flowers. Chaparral honeysuckle grows well in dry conditions and attracts birds, bees and butterflies.
- This native honeysuckle is endangered or threatened over part of its range, particularly in Wisconsin and Michigan. It can be found throughout northern and western North America and as far south as New Mexico. This perennial shrub has red or yellow flowers and produces a black fruit which is attractive to birds.
- The hairy honeysuckle (Lonicera hirsuita) produces small pink or yellow flowers. As its name suggests, this plant has hairy leaves covered in soft fuzz. It can be found in northeast North America from Maine to Wisconsin and as far south as Pennsylvania. This plant is endangered in both Pennsylvania and Massachusetts and produces red berries. Hairy honeysuckle attracts birds, hummingbirds and butterflies but is deer resistant.