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Southern Honeysuckle
Lonicera subspicata
About Southern Honeysuckle (Lonicera subspicata) Nurseries Show All Photos Southern Honeysuckle is a species in the Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle) family that is endemic to California, where it is known from several areas in mountain and coastal habitat, particularly chaparral. It is a vining shrub which usually climbs on other plants for support. It may exceed two meters in length. It is lined with oval leaves up to 4 centimeters long. The flower cluster is a long, fuzzy spike of light yellow flowers each about a centimeter long. The flower has an upper and lower lip with hairy stamens and style protruding. The fruit is a round red or yellow berry just under a centimeter wide. There are two recognized varieties, var. subspicata and var. denudata. There are subtle differences between the two varieties, and they have overlapping ranges (see separate listings). Var. denudata is the more widespread variety; var. subspicata is rare and included on CNPS list 1B.2.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
8 ft (2.4 m)

Max. Width
20 ft (6.1 m)


Fragrant - Pleasant


Flower Color
Cream, Yellow

Flowering Season
Spring, Summer

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Coastal plains, foothills and the west slope of the mountains from the Bay Area southward, typically in the partial shade of oaks or chaparral species

Part Shade, Sun

Elevation ?
-18' - 8079'

Annual Precip. ?
8.3" - 45.8"

Summer Precip. ?
0.14" - 2.95"

Coldest Month ?
37.8° F - 56.5° F

Hottest Month ?
60.3° F - 81.1° F

Humidity ?
0.71 vpd - 29.91 vpd

Soil Description
Tolerant of a variety of soils including clay and decomposed granite.

Soil PH
6.0 - 7.5

Medium, Slow

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 5° F

Wildlife Attracted
Many insects are attracted to the flowers, including butterflies. Birds are attracted to the berries.

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Water Requirement ?
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Organic with Rocks

Do not prune new, young growth because that is where the flowers and fruit are borne. Remove older growth to shape and to stimulate growth of new stems.

Propagation ?
Seed or cuttings

Common uses
Bank Stabilization, Hedges, Groundcovers, Deer Resistant, Hummingbird Gardens, Bird Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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