Diervilla sessilifolia
Common Name: bush honeysuckle 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Caprifoliaceae
Native Range: Southeastern United States
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 3.00 to 5.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 5.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: Sulfur yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Attracts: Hummingbirds, Butterflies
Tolerate: Erosion


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 common name bush honeysuckle refers to the appearance of the flowers, which resemble those of plants in the genus Lonicera (honeysuckles). This species should not to be confused with Lonicera japonica, which shares the common name bush honeysuckle and is an exotic invasive species to Missouri and the Midwest.


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


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