Limber Honeysuckle

limber honeysuckle lonicera dioica wisconsin native vines at johnson's nursery ftimg

Limber Honeysuckle

Lonicera dioica

Description & Overview

Limber Honeysuckle is a Wisconsin native vine. It’s a low, climbing, vine-like shrub with arching branches. In late spring, expect a display of showy red, stalk-less flowers with yellow stamens. Afterwards, it forms green fruits that mature to a vibrant red-orange. It’s deciduous, and the glossy green leaves turn yellow in fall before falling off. The long, cone-shaped, red flowers attract hummingbirds and other pollinators, while the berries are desirable to birds.

Native to Canada and central to eastern United States. This variety of honeysuckle is considered non-invasive, but the fruit is poisonous to humans.

Core Characteristics

Mature Height: 10 feet
Mature Spread: Varies
Growth Rate: Fast
Growth Form: Vine
Light Requirements: Partial Shade to Full Shade
Site Requirements: Moist, Dry
Flower: Red with yellow stamens
Bloom Period: May-June
Foliage: Glossy dark green
Fall Color: Yellow
Fruit Notes: Red-orange berries

Suggested Uses:

  • Border (through medium sized shrubs to act as groundcover),
  • Container gardens (again, to act as groundcover or keep the vine contained),
  • Cut flower garden (flowers are beautiful and make nice additions to any bouquet),
  • Espalier (there is not much depth in the z-direction but it grows full in the x and y directions),
  • Ground cover (for areas where grass can be out of the question or some color is wanted); just don’t trellis it,
  • Privacy screen (adds beauty and density to a fence or trellis),
  • Specimen (showy flowers are enough to attract anyone’s attention and create a focal point in any garden),
  • Urban garden (similar reasoning as espalier, this vine does not take up as much space and can tolerate limited horizontal area as long as there is room for vertical growth),
  • Woodland garden (while not a native, some species will still make a nice addition or climb tree trunks if the garden is near the woods)
find limber honey suckle vines at johnson's nursery wisconsin natives

Wildlife Value:

Flowers are attractive to butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees. Berries are attractive to birds and native wildlife. Will host butterflies.

Maintenance Tips:

Prune spent flowers to promote repeat bloom. Prune the vine back in the winter to increase flowering later. Limber Honeysuckle can be severely pruned if necessary, to control their size. This is best done in fall or winter when the plant is dormant.

the fruit on limber honeysuckle start green then mature to red orange


Honeysuckle in general have no known serious issues.

Most plants can be prone to common, ornamental (non-lethal) issues caused by various environmental conditions. Clematis may be susceptible to wilt/stem rot (potentially fatal), powdery mildew, leaf spots, rust, and viruses. Potential insect pests include aphids, vine weevils, slugs, snails, scale, and earwigs. Watch for spider mites. Alleviate these common issues with over-the-counter insecticides or pesticides.

Leaf Lore:

Limber Honeysuckle, also called Wild Honeysuckle, is commonly found in boggy areas and other wet sites at high elevations in coniferous and deciduous woods or in thickets with sandy or rocky soils.

The genus, Lonicera, is named for Adam Lonicer, a German botanist known for his passion of herbs and botany. This plant was first cultivated in 1636. Native American tribes used the vine to treat fevers, tuberculosis, menstrual difficulties, kidney stones, worms, and to throw off the effects of love medicine. However, the berries are inedible and cause moderate nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Companion Plants:

Peony, Coneflower, Bee Balm, other tall perennials.

  • Peony (provide contrast in flower shape and adds color),
  • Coneflower (also attracts pollinators and adds color),
  • Bee Balm (also attracts pollinators, adds color),
  • other tall perennials (add depth because this is a short vine isn’t as vibrant as some bright color perennials)

Limber Honeysuckle flowers are not extremely vibrant so if you want color, those are a few vibrant perennials that can also add depth to an area.

limber honeysuckle lonicera dioica wisconsin native vines at johnson's nursery benchcard