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TREES & Plants

Bush-honeysuckle

Bush-honeysuckle is a fast-growing native shrub providing yellow flowers for several weeks in early summer.  Young stems have a red color that contrasts well with the green leaves.  This shrub is not a true honeysuckle.

Botanical name: 
Diervilla lonicera
All Common Names: 
Bush-honeysuckle, Dwarf bushhoneysuckle, bush honeysuckle
Family (English): 
Bush-honeysuckle
Family (Botanic): 
Diervillaceae
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Shrub
Foliage: 
  • Deciduous (foliage falls off)
Native Locale: 
  • Chicago area
  • Illinois
  • North America
Hardiness Zones: 
  • Zone 3
  • Zone 4
  • Zone 5
  • Zone 6
  • Zone 7
Growth Rate: 
  • Fast
Light Exposure: 
  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Partial sun (4-6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Partial shade (4-6 hrs indirect light daily)
Tolerances: 
  • Dry sites
  • Occasional drought
  • Clay soil
Soil Preference: 
  • Acid soil
  • Moist, well-drained soil
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • Yellow
Size Range: 
  • Small shrub (3-5 feet)
  • Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet)
Shape or Form: 
  • Mounded
  • Multi-stemmed
  • Thicket-forming
Landscape Uses: 
  • Specimen
  • Massing
  • Hedge
  • Foundation
  • Mixed border
Time of Year: 
  • Early summer
  • Mid summer
More Information: 

Size and Form

3 to 5 feet high and wide; mounded form; thicket forming.

Tree & Plant Care

It may be necessary to prune out excess stems on this thicket-forming shrub.
Regular pruning should be done in late winter/early spring.

Disease, pests and problems

None serious; scale is an occasional problem.

Native geographic location and habitat

C-Value: 9
Native to the upper Midwest and the Northeastern United States.

Bark color and texture 

Bark peels into long, narrow strips.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Simple, opposite leaves; 2 to 4 inches long with a long tip and finely toothed edge.
Dark green in summer; red in fall.

Bush-honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera)Bush-honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera)photo: John Hagstrom

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Tubular yellow flowers, usually in groups of two of three; blooms heavily in July and August and then sporadically until frost.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Dry capsules; not ornamentally important.