Diervilla sessilifolia 'LPDC Podaras' COOL SPLASH
Common Name: southern bush honeysuckle
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Caprifoliaceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Hedge, Naturalize
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Leaf: Colorful
Attracts: Hummingbirds, Butterflies
Tolerate: Erosion

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Tolerates some drought. Wide range of soil tolerance. Plants will spread by underground stems to form colonies, but are not considered to be invasive. Prune as needed immediately after flowering.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Diervilla sessilifolia, commonly called southern bush honeysuckle, is a compact, suckering, deciduous shrub which typically grows to 3-5’ tall. It is native to bluffs, slopes, stream banks and woodland borders in the southern Appalachian Mountains from western Georgia and Alabama to eastern Tennessee and Virginia.

Trumpet-shaped, two-lipped, pale yellow, typical honeysuckle-like flowers (each to 1/2” long) bloom from June to August in crowded clusters (terminal and axillary cymes). Flowers are followed by oblong fruits (1/4” or longer). Simple, opposite, lanceolate to narrow ovate leaves (1 1/2 to 4” long), featuring rounded to cordate bases and toothed margins, are sessile. Foliage sometimes acquires attractive reddish-purplish shades in fall.

Genus name honors a French surgeon named Dierville or Diereville who observed with great interest a North American native bush-honeysuckle growing in Canada during an extensive trip he took to that country in 1699-1700. Upon his return to France, he introduced the shrub to European culture, with the bush-honeysuckle genus eventually being named in memory of him. Linnaeus subsequently listed the observed Canadian plant as Diervilla lonicera.

Specific epithet is in reference to the sessile leaves.

The honey-like taste of the flower nectar can be enjoyed by suckling the flower, hence the common name of honeysuckle.

‘LPDC Podaras’, commonly marketed under the trademark name of COOL SPLASH, is a densely branched, cascading, low-growing, deciduous shrub that grows shorter than species plants, typically rising to 2-3’ tall. It is primarily noted for its attractively-variegated leaves (to 4” long) which have dark green centers surrounded by sharply-contrasting yellow to creamy-white margins. This cultivar is the result of a breeding experiment undertaken in 2004 by LPTC (Landscape Plant Development Center) and the breeder (Podaras) at a Cornell University greenhouse in which, during a mass screening of Diervilla sessilifolia seedlings, a seedling with a minutely variegated mutation was identified, selected and subsequently developed. U.S. Plant Patent PP19,391 was issued on October 28, 2008.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Leaf spot and powdery mildew may occur.

Garden Uses

Small hedge. Naturalize in woodland gardens or on slopes. Shrub borders. Foundations.