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GWAA

The Garden Writers Association


Last Update 03/27/11
Plant of the Month

 Lonicera japonica 'Purpurea'

 Purple leaf Japanese Honeysuckle

Evergreen leaves turn purple in autumn and winter (when the weather becomes cooler). Flowers small, white, changing to yellow with age. An excellent climber for covering large spaces, tall fences and tree stumps. Lovely sweet honeysuckle scent is luscious. Bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and even people love the Honeysuckle nectar in flowers.

Lonicera japonic 'Purpurea' folige (Click for Larger View)

Lonicera japonica 'Purpurea' flowers (Click for Larger View)

Click pictures for a closer view.

Lonicera japonica 'Purpurea' older flowers (Click for Larger View)

Common Name:  Japanese Honeysuckle

Botanical Name:   Lonicera japonica 'Purpurea'

Family:  Caprifoliaceae

Plant Type:  Vigorous, evergreen or semi-evergreen, woody, twining climber

Origin: E. Asia

Zones: 4 - 10

Height:  30' or more

Rate of Growth: Vigorous climber

Salt Tolerance: Medium

Soil Requirements:  Well drained, moist, fertile humus

Water Requirements: Water freely, less water in winter

Nutritional Requirements: Balanced liquid fertilizer monthly

Light Requirements: Full sun with some midday shade

Form:  Twining climber

Leaves: Broadly elliptic to ovate, dark green to 3" long

Flowers:  Tubular 2-lipped, very fragrant flowers, to 1 1/2" long, age to yellow borne in pairs from the leaf axils from spring to late summer.

Fruits: Inedible berries for humans, birds love them

Pests:  Aphids, leaf roller, scale insects, dieback, powdery mildew, leaf spots, and blight

Uses:  Vine, wall cover, grow on a sturdy support as a wind break or for shade, loose groundcover or planted on banks for erosion control

Bad Habits: May be invasive, birds spread seeds

Cost:  $$ -- reasonable

Propagation:   seeds, semi-ripe cuttings in summer

Source: A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants

 

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