Yellow Honeysuckle

Illustration of yellow honeysuckle leaves, flowers, fruits.
Scientific Name
Lonicera flava
Caprifoliaceae (honeysuckles)

Yellow honeysuckle is a woody, trailing, climbing vine that can sometimes be shrublike.

Flowers are 1 inch long, tubular, with protruding stamens, in crowded, terminal clusters above a platterlike union of 2 joined leaves that clasp the stem, bright yellow or orange-yellow, lacking purple, rose, or brick red along the tube.

Blooms April–May.

Leaves are simple, opposite, sessile, thick, egg-shaped, with a gray, not white underside, tips round to blunt. Upper pair just below the flowers united at the base to form a disk that is about 6 inches across and 2 inches wide, sometimes rounded.

Fruit is a red or reddish-orange berry.

Stem length: up to 13 feet.
Where To Find
image of Yellow Honeysuckle Distrbution Map
Found primarily in the Ozarks, but it is increasingly available at native plant nurseries and might be found in cultivation statewide.
Occurs in openings and borders of rocky woods, on ledges and upper slopes above bluffs, and rocky ground along steams. Unlike the invasive Japanese honeysuckle, this plant is not aggressive and makes a wonderful trellis vine for the ecology-minded gardener.
Beautiful, fragrant flowers, attractiveness to hummingbirds, and overall hardiness make honeysuckles popular vines for arbors. Yellow honeysuckle is more robust and colorful than the other native honeysuckles and is increasingly available at native plant nurseries. It has been cultivated since 1810.
The deep, tubular flowers provide nectar to pollinators able to reach inside. Hummingbirds have long, pointy bills and extendable tongues for this purpose. Birds and small animals eat the ripe berries of this native vine. Deer browse the stems and leaves.
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Similar Species
About Trees, Shrubs and Woody Vines in Missouri
There are no sharp dividing lines between trees, shrubs, and woody vines, or even between woody and nonwoody plants. “Wood” is a type of tissue made of cellulose and lignin that many plants develop as they mature — whether they are “woody” or not. Trees are woody plants over 13 feet tall with a single trunk. Shrubs are less than 13 feet tall, with multiple stems. Vines require support or else sprawl over the ground.