Southern bush-honeysuckle is a vigorous, 3 to 5 feet high, spreading shrub with rich green foliage that turns purplish in the fall. The 2 to 3 inch diameter sulfur-yellow flowers appear in mid-summer. The suckering nature of the plant can form colonies making it ideal as a mass planting or used to stabilize a slope.
Size and form:
Southern bush-honeysuckle is a low growing, mounded shrub reaching 3 to 5 feet high and spreading by suckers up to 5 feet wide.
Native geographic location and habitat:
It is native to the southeastern United States. Forms thickets along stream banks and sides of mountains in North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama.
Attracts birds and butterflies:
Flowers attract butterflies.
Bark color and texture:
Southern bush-honeysuckle has gray-brown twiggy stems.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture:
This shrub has opposite, 2 to 3 inch long, oblong, glossy dark green foliage. There is minimal reddish-purple fall color.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size:
It produces sulfur-yellow 1/2 inch long flowers in 2 to 3 inch diameter clusters at ends of branches.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:
The many seeded capsule is two-chambered.
Southern bush-honeysuckle grows well in part shade to full sun and, although it is adaptable to a wide range of soil pH, it prefers moist, well-drained soils. It does not tolerate heavy, wet soils. This shrub should be pruned in spring to control size. It is thicket-forming along stream banks and slopes.
List of pests, diseases and tolerances:
There aren’t any serious problems. It is drought and wind tolerant and deer resistant.
Butterfly™ southern bush-honeysuckle (Diervilla sessifolia ‘Butterfly’):
This cultivar grows 3 to 5 feet high and produces deep yellow flowers. The glossy, dark green foliage turns purple in fall.
Cool Splash™ southern bush-honeysuckle (Diervilla sessifolia ‘LPDC Podaras’):
This 2 to 4 feet high and wide cultivar has creamy-white and green variegated foliage.
Hybrid bush-honeysuckle (Diervilla x splendens):
A cross between Diervilla sessilifolia and Diervilla lonicera. A medium-sized, rounded shrub reaching 5 to 6 feet high and 4 to 5 feet wide with sulphur-yellow flowers in summer.