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Winter Honeysuckle


   Winter honeysuckle, Lonicera fragrantissima, is one of the few honeysuckle plants that can grow in areas that are generally considered to be desert climates, such as Texas. The winter honeysuckle is native to China, and has been since introduced to European and American gardens. The blooms of a winter honeysuckle are extremely fragrant and smell of lemon.

   The flowers of the winter honeysuckle are small and creamy white. They appear during midwinter and, although not outstanding in appearance, are highly fragrant. The foliage of the winter honeysuckle is bluish green in appearance. In all but the warmer climates of its range, the winter honeysuckle is deciduous. Generally evergreen in warmer areas, the winter honeysuckle has blooms that appear in late winter, making it one of the earliest flowering honeysuckles.

   The winter honeysuckle can reach a maximum height of about ten feet. The winter honeysuckle has red fruit in spring that will often follow the winter flowers. Landscape uses of the winter honeysuckle include specimens, background plantings, or hedges. Very cold and drought tolerant, the winter honeysuckle is propagated best by using seeds or cuttings.

   The winter honeysuckle is hardy to zones four through nine, and grows in a rounded form. The flowers will fade to yellow as the blooming season continues into the summer. The fast growing winter honeysuckle will grow best in full sun, but will also tolerate a partial shade location. The winter honeysuckle is a perfect addition to any home garden or landscape.

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