Lonicera subspicata Hook. & Arn. var. denudata Rehder

Southern Honeysuckle
Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle Family)


Southern or chaparral honeysuckle is a straggling evergreen shrub that grows 3' to 8' tall, is somewhat woody at the base, and generally climbs or reclines on other shrubs. Its leaves are opposite, widely elliptic to round-ovate, entire-margined, subglabrous to whitish-pubescent beneath, to 1-1/4" long, and sometimes revolute.  The upper pairs of leaves are not fused around the stem as they are in L. interrupta.  The flowers are in small whorls along a spike that is often glandular-hairy and 3/4" to 4-1/2" long.  The calyx tube is ovoid, very short, and minutely 5-cleft.  The corolla is cream-colored to yellowish, two-lipped with the upper lip 4-lobed and the lower lip a single lobe, and often hairy. There are 5 stamens with the filaments pubescent at the base, and the style, stigma and stamens are strongly exserted. The fruit is a yellow or reddish berry about 5/16" in diameter. Southern honeysuckle is quite common on dry slopes below 5000' on chaparral slopes and shaded woodlands, blooming from April to June.  If you are in Santa Barbara Co. and find a honeysuckle with leaves that are 3-4 times longer than wide, that is most probably L. subspicata var. subspicata.  Denudata's leaves are less than or equal to twice as long as wide. The last picture below shows a type of gall that is often found on honeysuckle plants.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Lonicera 2) subspicata 3) denudata.
Pronunciation: lon-IS-er-a sub-spi-KAY-ta den-yoo-DAY-ta.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.


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