The Coral Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) is one of the good guys. This native vine is not an invasive like its cousin Japanese Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica), which seems to be capable of taking over the world. The twining vine bursts forth with bright coral-red trumpets that are eagerly attractive to the arriving ruby throat hummingbirds. The spring blooms of this sun and shade tolerant vine are a welcome sight to gardeners and wildlife alike. Given a trellis, tree or arbor to climb, the Coral Honeysuckle will easily cover and responds well to pruning.
When purchasing a Coral Honeysuckle, look for named selections for improved attributes. ‘Major Wheeler’ is a prolific, extended bloomer while ‘John Clayton’ has golden yellow blooms instead of coral-red. The variety ‘Magnifica’ has red flowers with a yellow interior. Plant Coral Honeysuckle in some sun for the best bloom and trim after spring bloom to encourage reflowering through the summer. The small berries in the fall are attractive to birds. Pest and diseases are few. This easy-to-grow native vine has so many great uses for Southern Gardens.