Lonicera sempervirens f. sulphurea 'John Clayton'
Common Name: trumpet honeysuckle
Type: Vine
Family: Caprifoliaceae
Zone: 4 to 9
Height: 6.00 to 12.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 5.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Pale yellow
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Birds, Hummingbirds, Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Clay Soil, Black Walnut


Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Will grow in some shade, but best flowering is in full sun. Best in humusy, organically rich soils with good drainage. This is a twining vine that needs a support structure upon which to grow. Prune as needed immediately after flowering. Although deciduous in the St. Louis area, it will retain some foliage (semi-evergreen to evergreen) in warm winter climates (USDA Zone 8 and above).

Noteworthy Characteristics

Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle) is a twining vine that is native to the southeastern U. S., but has escaped from gardens and naturalized in many other areas of the eastern U. S. including several counties in central and southern Missouri where it typically occurs along roadsides, along stream banks and in thickets (see Steyermark). ‘John Clayton’ is a yellow-flowered variety that was found in 1991 in woodlands on the grounds of a 17th century church in Gloucester, Virginia. It is noted for its compact growth habit, yellow flowers, tendency to rebloom and profuse fall berry production. It typically grows to 6-12’ long. Tubular, pale yellow flowers (to 2” long) in terminal whorls bloom primarily from May to June, with some sporadic additional bloom until fall. Flowers are mildly fragrant and are attractive to hummingbirds, butterflies and bees. Inedible orange-red berries form in late summer to early fall and can be both profuse and ornamentally attractive. Oval to obovate leaves (to 3” long) are dark blue-green. Genus name honors Adam Lonitzer, 16th century German naturalist and physician. Sempervirens means always green. f. sulphurea plants have yellow flowers. John Clayton (1694-1773) was a colonial botanist and plant collector from Gloucester County, Virginia.


No serious insect or disease problems. Powdery mildew and leaf spots may occur, particularly in hot and humid summer climates such as the St. Louis area.

Garden Uses

Excellent vine for trellises, arbors and fences.