Monday, August 29, 2011

the fly and the honeysuckle

Growing up we had honeysuckle growing all over my little town, in overgrown yards and wild along the roadside. The sweet fragrance so distinguishable and inviting to the summer senses, a part of growing up in the country was when an older relative or friend would teach you how to dissect the yellow and white flowers to extract a single drop of "honey" to sweeten your tongue for the rest of the walk down to the ocean. Today I know honeysuckle to be an introduced woody vine from Asia that is often considered quite a weed, and especially troublesome down south where it has nearly invasive status. But I have to admit regardless of my horticultural training coming across this plant during my early morning walks still makes me smile and slow down and breath deep to get all that delicious fragrance. This morning the fly and I were obviously on the same page, totally unmoved as I snapped a few quick pics.
Lonicera japonica
- commonly called Japanese honeysuckle
- member of the woodbine family, Caprifoliaceae
- hardy in USDA Zones 4-11
- originally from Japan, Korea, and China
- a twining vine with opposite dark green foliage and tubular flowers from early summer into fall
- adaptable to most soil conditions but known to be aggressive and weedy in habit
- produces berries in fall loved by birds
- member of the genus Lonicera which includes over 180 different species of vines, groundcovers, and shrubs

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