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Bush-honeysuckle in flower.

Bush-honeysuckle is a low-growing, fast-growing native shrub providing yellow flowers for several weeks in early summer. Reddish young stems are 4-sided, contrasting with dark green leaves. This shrub is not a true honeysuckle.

"This species is native to the Chicago Region according to Swink and Wilhelm's Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research."   

Botanical name:

Diervilla lonicera

All common names:

Bush-honeysuckle, Dwarf bushhoneysuckle, bush honeysuckle

Family (English):


Family (Botanic):


Tree or Plant Type:

  • Shrub

Native Locale:

  • Chicago area,
  • Illinois,
  • North America

Landscape Uses:

  • Foundation,
  • Hedge,
  • Massing,
  • Mixed border,
  • Specimen

Size Range:

  • Small shrub (3-5 feet),
  • Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet)

Light Exposure:

  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

Hardiness Zones:

  • Zone 3,
  • Zone 4,
  • Zone 5 (Chicago),
  • Zone 6,
  • Zone 7

Soil Preference:

  • Acid soil,
  • Moist, well-drained soil


  • Dry sites,
  • Occasional drought,
  • Clay soil

Seasons of Interest:

  • early summer,
  • midsummer

Flower Color & Fragrance:

  • Yellow

Shape or Form:

  • Mounded,
  • Multi-stemmed,
  • Thicket-forming

Growth Rate:

  • Fast

More Information:

Size and Form

A 3 to 5 feet high and wide mounded shrub forming thickets.

Tree & Plant Care

Tolerant of full sun to full shade
Best in well-drained, average soils
Regular pruning should be done in late winter/early spring.
Tolerant of deer.

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 

Gray-brown bark peels into long, narrow strips.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Opposite simple leaves, 2 to 4 inches long with finely toothed margins and pointed tip.
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.
Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Dry capsules; not ornamentally important.



Location of Diervilla lonicera (Bush-honeysuckle) at the Arboretum