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Trumpet honeysuckle

Flowers of trumpet honeysuckle.

Trumpet honeysuckle is native to North America, mostly in southern states.  This vine is vigorous, but not aggressive like some species of honeysuckle.  It produces clusters of bright red flowers in spring.

This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.

Botanical name:

Lonicera sempervirens

All common names:

Trumpet honeysuckle, coral honeysuckle, scarlet honeysuckle

Family (English):


Family (Botanic):


Tree or Plant Type:

  • Vine

Native Locale:

  • Illinois,
  • North America

Landscape Uses:

  • Massing,
  • Shade tree,
  • Specimen

Size Range:

  • Large plant (more than 24 inches)

Light Exposure:

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

Hardiness Zones:

  • Zone 4,
  • Zone 5 (Chicago),
  • Zone 6,
  • Zone 7,
  • Zone 8,
  • Zone 9

Soil Preference:

  • Acid soil,
  • Moist, well-drained soil


  • Dry sites,
  • Occasional drought,
  • Clay soil

Seasons of Interest:

  • late spring,
  • early summer,
  • early fall,
  • mid fall

Flower Color & Fragrance:

  • Red,
  • Yellow

Shape or Form:

  • Vining

Growth Rate:

  • Fast

More Information:

Size and Method of Climbing

Trumpet honeysuckle can grow up to 15 feet long.  It is a twining vine.  Twining vines climb by twisting their stems or leaf stalks around a support.  This type of vine grows well on trellises, arbors, wires or chain-link fences.

Plant Care

Best growth occurs in full sun, but this vine can tolerate a lot of shade.  Flowering may be reduced in heavy shade.
Moist, well-drained soil is preferred.  Best growth in slightly acid soils.
Prune after flowering.

Disease, pests, and problems

Aphids are a common pest

Disease, pests, and problem resistance

Tolerant of black walnut toxicity.

Native geographic location and habitat

Native to North America, mostly in southern states.  In Illinois, native to a few counties scattered throughout the state.

Leaf description

The simple, opposite leaves have entire margins.  Leaves near the end of the stem may be fused together to encircle the stem.
No fall color.  Leaves are semi-evergreen in southern climates.

Flower description

Tubular red or red-orange flowers held in clusters and produced in late spring or early summer.  Flowers mostly on old wood.
Flowers are beautiful, but not fragrant.

Fruit description

Fruit are bright red berries produced in fall.

Cultivars and their differences

Alabama Crimson trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens 'Alabama Crimson'):  Deep red flowers.

Cedar Lane trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens 'Cedar Lane'):  Scarlet flowers; abundant flowers as this cultivar will rebloom on new wood; better resistance to aphids.

John Clayton trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens 'John Clayton'):  Flowers are yellow instead of red; will produce flowers off and on through the season.

Major Wheeler trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens 'Major Wheeler'): Scarlet flower; this cultivar blooms heavily throughout the season.

Sulphurea trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens 'Sulphurea'):  Yellow flowers.

Location of Lonicera sempervirens (Trumpet honeysuckle) at the Arboretum