Plant of the Month: Texas White Honeysuckle
Texas White Honeysuckle is perhaps best described as a climbing shrub. In the landscape, it can be grown as a 4′ bush, trained as an espalier on a trellis, or allowed to naturally cascade down a bank or retaining wall. However it is grown, it will produce yellowish white blooms in the spring
which are followed by clusters of orange red fruit. It remains evergreen in mild winters.
It can be grown throughout Texas, but it occurs naturally in North, Central and West Texas. In its native habitat it occurs on rocky slopes and cliffs as well as in cedar breaks. In a woodland setting it is frequently found climbing into trees or large shrubs, where it is out of reach of browsing deer. In full sun, it prefers supplemental water, but it is more drought tolerant in part shade. Overhead watering may lead to mildew on the leaves.
White Honeysuckle is a versatile landscape plant – the nectar will attract butterflies, and the berries are enjoyed by birds and small mammals. Unlike the invasive Japanese Honeysuckle, which has similar yellowish white blooms, this plant is non-aggressive and easier to keep within bounds. It requires protection from browsing deer.
Note: Texas White Honeysuckle is a NPSOT NICE!TM selection for Spring 2015. Text by John Siemssen. Photos by Sally & Andy Wasowski, Wildflower Center