Lonicera sempervirens (Trumpet or Coral Honeysuckle)

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

Hummingbirds favor Lonicera flowers. Just watch this video–or better yet, plant Lonicera sempervirens in your garden–and see for yourself:


Low maintenance and showy, Trumpet Honeysuckle blooms intermittently until frost with coral flowers and red fruit present together. A more compact cultivar, ‘John Clayton,’ produces fragrant yellow flowers and copious orange-red fruit. It was discovered in 1991 on the grounds of a 17th century Virginia church. The species name “sempervirens” refers to the plant’s evergreen habit, particularly in the South. The Virginia Native Plant Society selected Trumpet Honeysuckle as Wildflower of the Year for 2014.

Print Version (Legal Size):  Lonicera sempervirens (Trumpet or Coral Honeysuckle)

Vine: Height: 8–20 feet (‘John Clayton’ 6–12 feet) Spread: 6–12 feet (‘John Clayton’ 3–5 feet) Bloom Color: Coral to red, with yellow. Characteristics: Vigorous, twining, semi-evergreen vine Thick, oval, blue-green leaves Whorled clusters of long, narrow, trumpet-shaped flowers, orange-red outside/yellow inside, bloom from April to June, then intermittently until frost Red, berry-like fruit from August to March. Attributes: Tolerates clay soil and Black Walnut. No serious pests or diseases, although powdery mildew likely if air circulation is poor; deer occasionally browse foliage and stems. Attracts hummingbirds, butterflies, moths, and bees to the flowers and birds to the berries; larval host to Hummingbird and Snowberry Clearwing moths. Growing and Maintenance Tips: Soil Requirements: Loamy, well-drained soil Light Requirements: Sun, Partial Shade. Water Requirements: Moist. Transplants well Sunnier the site, more prolific the flowers. Prune after flowering. Use as climber on arbors, fences or as ground cover. Hardiness: USDA Zones 4–9. Excellent Replacement for Akebia quinata - Chocolate Vine Clematis terniflora - Sweet Autumn Clematis Humulus japonicus - Japanese Hop Jasminum dichotomum - Jasmine Lonicera japonica - Japanese Honeysuckle. It is native to DC, common in DE, and clustered mainly in the extreme southwestern corner of PA. In VA, it is frequent in the Coastal Plain and Piedmont and infrequent in the mountains. It is native to NoVA except for Fairfax County. Learn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants: Tried and True Plant Fact Sheets