Diervilla lonicera
Common Name: bush honeysuckle 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Caprifoliaceae
Native Range: Eastern North America
Zone: 3 to 7
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 4.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge, Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Good Fall
Attracts: Hummingbirds, Butterflies


Easily grown in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Tolerates drought. Freely suckers. Plants may be propagated by transplanting suckers. Prune as needed immediately after flowering. Plants grow best in cool summer climates.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Diervilla lonicera, commonly known as bush honeysuckle, is a suckering, densely branched, deciduous shrub that typically grows to 3' tall and to 4' wide. It is native to dry rocky open woodland areas and thickets from Newfoundland to Saskatchewan south to North Carolina, Tennessee and Iowa. It is noted for its small shrubby form, yellow trumpet-shaped flowers, dark green leaves and fall color. Tube-like flowers (each to 1/2" across), resembling the flowers of true honeysuckle (genus Lonicera), bloom in panicles (cymes) in late spring to early summer (June-July). In order to taste the sweet nectar, the tubular flower must be suckled, hence the name honeysuckle. Plants are self-sterile (seed set requires pollination from a nearby plant). Flowers give rise to fruits (dry woody dehiscent capsules). Ovate to oblong-lanceolate, pointed, opposite, glossy green leaves (to 2-5" long) with fine marginal teeth turn interesting shades of yellow to orange sometimes changing to red 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 comes from the genus name for honeysuckle (Lonicera).

The honey-like taste of the flower nectar can be enjoyed by suckling the flower, hence the common name of honeysuckle. 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. Shrub borders. Naturalize in woodland gardens or on slopes in areas where plants can spread to form colonies.