Winter honeysuckle is an attractive shrub with early-flowering fragrant flowers. However, under the Illinois Exotic Weed Act, it cannot be sold in Illinois. It is also considered invasive in many areas. The information provided here is more for identification purposes rather than a guide to plant selection. This plant is NOT recommended.
All Common Names:
Tree or Plant Type:
- Mixed border,
- Large shrub (more than 8 feet),
- Medium shrub (5-8 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Zone 2,
- Zone 3,
- Zone 4,
- Zone 5 (Chicago)
- Moist, well-drained soil
Season of Interest:
- Late winter,
- Early spring
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
Size & form
A coarse, rounded shrub reaching 6 to 10 feet high and wide.
Tree & Plant Care
Adaptable to many soil types. Best in full sun for flowering, but tolerant of part shade.
Prune after flowering to maintain shape. Thin slender branches can become a tangled mass if not pruned regularly.
Very early to leaf out in spring.
Disease, pests, and problems
Leaf spots, mildews, aphids, four-lined plant bug
Disease, pest, and problem resistance
Native geographic location and habitat
Attracts birds & pollinators
Butterflies and bees
Bark color and texture
Slender, light tannish-brown
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Opposite, elliptic to ovate, up to 3 inches long, dull blue-green above to lighter underside
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Creamy white, 2-lipped petals, very fragrant lemon scented. Long blooming flowers in March to April
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Sparse, 1/4 inch diameter dark red berry