An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

January 25, 2008

Just Follow Your Nose

Winter Honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima)
I took this picture on the 15th at the garden center, and although it is not the prettiest flower I have ever seen, the fragrance more than makes up for it. It smells exactly like a bowl full of Fruit Loops. Winter honeysuckle can be a somewhat ungainly, irregular shrub, and it has the tendency to hang on to its leaves until the bitter end. It would probably look best at the back of a border with showier stuff in front, but not too far away that you don't smell it in the winter. For us it usually blooms in January and continues into February. This Chinese native is hardy in zones 4-8, prefers full to partial sun, and can get up to 10' tall and wide.


  1. Hello from Faial Island - Azores.

    Come and meet our beautiful island in the middle of the Atlantic...

  2. Thanks for visiting my blog and welcome to garden blogging! I will add you to my list of links.

    Any outdoor flower that blooms in January is a wonderful addition to a garden but is the winter honeysuckle as invasive as the fragrant Japanese honeysuckle, L. japonica?

  3. Although it is a lonicera, it is not invasive and is one of several that are shrubs and not vines. The only invasive one I know of is Lonicera japonica which is the one you see on the side of the road in summer that is so fragrant. It is not native and can be difficult to get rid of if you ever want to.

  4. Love anything fragrant and flowering in January, especially a shrub lonicera that won't take over the world!

  5. Are you guys really a zone 8a? Is that...via your observations? I'm 8b in coastal SC, but definitely find that things that are rated for a zone 9 do much better in my garden. Just curious. Anyway, I'm distracting myself. Thanks for stopping by my site, and yes - welcome.

  6. Hi Les,

    Good luck with this blog, you already have some interesting things posted. I got a chuckle out of your plant thief post (although I am sure you didn't think it was funny) and it reminded me of the time we had someone like this running around a sub division we were planting. Things had been disappearing for awhile but when he took a Japanese Maple and 500 sq. feet of sod one night that was it. We did the same thing and turned him over to the police. Not sure what happened but that stopped him.

    I know that someone was stealing rare Alpines from Wave Hill and quite a few very rare Palms were stolen from Fairchild in Miami. I just don't understand, I am happy to look at a plant and take a picture of it . I don't need to have it my yard.