Content Detail

European fly honeysuckle is a large, rounded shrub with arching branches and blue-to-gray green foliage. A popular, old-fashioned shrub used for hedges and screening.

  • Family (English) Honeysuckle
  • Family (botanic) Caprifoliaceae
  • Tree or plant type Shrub
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Large shrub (more than 8 feet)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago)
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, clay soil, Occasional drought
  • Season of interest mid spring, late spring
  • Flower color and fragrance White
  • Shape or form Mounded, Round
  • Growth rate Fast

Size and form: 

This is a rounded, spreading shrub with arching branches, reaching 8 to 10 feet high and 10 to 12 feet wide.

Native geographic location and habitat:  

This is native to eastern and western Siberia

Bark color and texture:  

The bark is gray, with pubescent stems and brown pith.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture: 

Leaves are opposite, grow broadly elliptic to ovate, and 1 to 2 1/2 inches long and 1 inch wide. They have a rounded base, are slightly pubescent, and the leaves are light gray-green changing to yellow green in fall.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size: 

Flowers are inconspicuous, whitish-yellow flowers, and are borne in pairs.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

This shrub produces dark red berries.

Plant care:  

Grows best in full sun to part shade and prefers moist, well-drained soil. Old shrubs can be pruned to ground to rejuvenate them.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances:

This plant is prone to honeysuckle aphid, plant bug, leaf spots, and powdery mildew. It is resistant to deer and black walnut toxicity.

Clavey’s Dwarf honeysuckle (Lonicera xylosteoides ‘Clavey’s Dwarf’):

This hybrid of European fly honeysuckle (Lonicera xylosteum)  and Tatarian honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica) reaches 6 feet high and wide.

Compact European fly-honeysuckle (Lonicera xylosteum ‘Compacta’):

This variety is similar to the species.


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