Lonicera involucrata
Common Name: twinberry
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Caprifoliaceae
Native Range: North America
Zone: 4 to 10
Height: 6.00 to 10.00 feet
Spread: 6.00 to 10.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge, Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Birds, Hummingbirds, Butterflies
Fruit: Showy

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Will tolerate considerable shade. Best in moist, organically rich loams with good drainage. Naturalizes through self-seeding and will spread over time to form colonies. Propagate from seed or cuttings.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Lonicera involucrata, commonly called twinberry, is a deciduous shrub that is native to a large part of North America, from Alaska and parts of southern Canada south through the western U.S. to Mexico. It typically grows to 6-10' tall, but may in parts of its native range grow to as much as 16' tall. Elliptic, opposite, pointed, bright green leaves (to 5" long) have hairy margins and undersides. Tubular yellow flowers (each to 1" long) in pairs bloom in late spring to early summer (June-July), but often much earlier (March) in warm winter locations. Flowers are surrounded by two showy green bracts that turn a showy bright red. Flowers give way to small juicy black berries (each 1/4" diameter) in pairs. Berries are technically edible, but often bitter tasting. Hummingbirds and butterflies enjoy the flowers. Birds and small mammals love the fruit, sometimes spreading the seeds in an unwanted manner into adjacent areas. Additional common names include inkberry honeysuckle (black fruits) and bearberry honeysuckle (grizzly bears eat the fruits).

Genus name honors Adam Lonitzer (1528-1586), German botanist, the author of an herbal (Kreuterbuch) many times reprinted between 1557 and 1783.

Specific epithet is in reference to the showy red involucre bracts which surround plant flowers.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Landscape ornamental. Wildlife cover/food plant. Hedge or screen. Erosion control shrub.