Lonicera 'Kintzley's Ghost'

Common Name: honeysuckle 
Type: Vine
Family: Caprifoliaceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 8.00 to 12.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 5.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Attracts: Birds, Hummingbirds, Butterflies
Fruit: Showy
Tolerate: Drought


Winter hardy to USDA Zones 4-8 where it is easily grown in humusy, organically rich, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. In hot summer climates, plants typically perform best in part shade. Plants have drought tolerance once established, but prefer consistent watering. Prune as needed immediately after flowering. Easily propagated from cuttings.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Lonicera is a genus of plants in the honeysuckle family consisting of about 180 species of deciduous or evergreen shrubs and vines native primarily to temperate areas in the Northern Hemisphere. Leaves appear in opposite pairs. Tubular to bell-shaped bilaterally symmetrical flowers are followed by fleshy berries.

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

‘Kintzley’s Ghost’ is a deciduous vine that typically climbs to 8-12’ tall spreading to 3-5’ wide. It is noted for having slightly fragrant yellow flowers in late spring (May-June), each flower being surrounded by a showy, circular, silver dollar-sized bract which has a ghostly silver-blue color. Bracts are suggestive, in the opinion of some, of full moons ornamentally covering the vine throughout the growing season. Red berries in late summer are cupped by the persistent bracts.

This vine was originally propagated by William Kintzley at Iowa State University in the 1880s. He passed it along to family members thereafter, but it was never formally introduced into commerce. The vine disappeared at one point but was eventually rediscovered growing in the yard of a Kintzley relative in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Parentage is unclear. This vine may be a hybrid of L. reticulata and L. prolifera. Some nurseries currently sell it as L. reticulata ‘Kintzley’s Ghost’ or as L. reticulata ‘PO15S’ KINTZLEY’S GHOST.


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. Watch for aphids.


Good vine for trellis or arbor. Single plant forms an interesting vertical accent. Several plants will form an excellent screen. Grows best on a support structure, but is also effective cascading down from the top of a wall.