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Georgia bush-honeysuckle, also called mountain bush-honeysuckle is a fast growing, eastern United States native found in the southern Appalachian Mountains in moist wooded areas and woodland edges. The mounding habit and arching stems produce small clusters of yellow trumpet-shaped blooms in July and August. New growth emerges with a bronze-red foliage, which later turns green, then to a lovely red in the fall. Adapts to most soils and is drought tolerant when established.

  • Family (English) Bush-honeysuckle
  • Family (botanic) Diervillaceae
  • Tree or plant type Shrub
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale North America
  • Size range Small shrub (3-5 feet), Medium shrub (5-8 feet)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7
  • Soil preference Alkaline soil, Dry soil, Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, Dry sites, Road salt
  • Season of interest late spring, early summer, early fall, mid fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Yellow
  • Shape or form Mounded, Multi-stemmed, Round
  • Growth rate Moderate, Slow

Size & form:

Georgia bush-honeysuckle is a low growing, mounded shrub reaching 3 to 4 feet high and wide. 

Native geographic location and habitat:

It is native to eastern United States and found along roadsides and moist wooded areas in the southern Appalachian Mountains.

Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife:

Flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies.

Bark color and texture:

Its bark is gray-brown, twiggy stems.

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

Leaves are opposite, oblong, 2 to 3 inch long, and pubescent on both top and bottom. New foliage is a bronzy-red turning dark green and yellow-red in autumn.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

Flowers are lemon-yellow, 1-inch long panicles (cymes) that appear in late spring to mid-summer.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

Fruit are a dehiscent capsule and are not ornamentally important.

Plant care:

Georgia bush-honeysuckle grows well in part shade to full sun and is found along woodland edges. It is adaptable to a wide range of soil pH, but prefers soils with organic matter to retain moisture. It does not tolerate wet soils, but is tolerant of dry soil once established. Plants tend to sucker, so prune unwanted suckers. This shrub benefits from a light layer of mulch to retain moisture. 

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances:

There are no serious pests or diseases for this shrub. It is drought tolerant and deer resistant.

Kodiak® Georgia bush-honeysuckle (Diervilla rivularis ‘SMNDRSF’):

This is a series of tough cultivars for sun or shade that  grow 3 to 4 feet high and wide. Depending on the exact cultivar, the foliage may be orange, red, or dark purple.

Summer Stars™ Georgia bush-honeysuckle (Diervilla rivularis ‘Morton’):

A Chicagoland Grows™ Introduction cultivar that has a compact habit reaching 3 to 4 feet high and wide. It has dark green foliage, lemon-yellow summer flowers, and wine-red fall color.


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