06 September 2009

Lonicera Bonsai

Box honeysuckle

Lonicera nitida

Lonicera (lon-ISS-er-a)
nitida (ni-TI-da)

Evergreen Shrub
Family: Caprifoliaceae
Hardy to USDA Zone 7
Native to SW China.
Box honeysuckle is a fast growing shrub with dense evergreen habit. Though a member of the honeysuckle family it is not a climber but an evergreen which looks very much like a miniature boxwood. It has a high tolerance of clipping which makes it ideal as a neat, formal hedge and is also a very popular choice for topiary. As a bonsai this honeysuckle can easily be "sculpted" to resemble a tree.

They have delightful trunks.

The old branches are very brittle, but one can cut off all the vegetation and it back buds profusely. Boxleaf honeysuckle is also an ideal plant for making very small or Mame bonsai. An evergreen, it is in leaf all year. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. The pairs of small white flowers give way to lovely purple-blue berries. Readily roots from cuttings.

Lonicera named after Adam Lonitzer (1528-86), German naturalist and herbalist.

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