Climbing shrub Leaves: opposite, short-stalked or almost stalkless, 5 - 12 cm long, elliptic to oblong (but variable in shape) with pointed tip, with a waxy coating (glaucous) beneath. The uppermost one or two pairs of leaves are fused into a diamond-shaped or doubly egg-shaped disk. Flowers: borne in stalkless or short-stalked clusters (spikes) at branch tips. Calyx short, five-toothed. Corolla strongly two-lipped, pale yellowish, tinged with purple, 1.5 - 2.5 cm long, tubular to funnel-shaped, five-lobed, hairy inside. Corolla tube about equaling lips. Stamens five, exserted. Fruit: a few-seeded berry, in clusters, red. Twigs: hairless.
Similar species: Lonicera x heckrottii and L. sempervirens are similar but their corollas grow over 3 cm long. Lonicera prolifera differs by having yellowish flowers and glaucous upper leaves with rounded, not pointed, tips.
Flowering: May to late June
Habitat and ecology: Occasional in woods, typically calcareous springy woods.
Occurence in the Chicago region: native
Etymology: Lonicera is named after Adam Lonicer (1528-1586), a German botanist and author. Dioica refers to dioecious, which means "male and female flowers on separate plants."
Author: The Morton Arboretum
From Flora of Indiana (1940) by Charles C. Deam
This species is restricted mostly to the lake area where it is infrequent mostly in swampy and springy places and is absent or very rare south of the lake area. [Plants with their leaves pubescent beneath and pale yellow corolla may be called var. glaucescens. This variety is] infrequent in the northeastern part of the state in most soil, usually about swamps and even in bogs. South of this area it becomes rare and local and is found on wooded bluffs, generally along streams.
Climbing shrub with glabrous branches; lvs 5-12 cm, variable in shape, glaucous beneath, the uppermost one or two pairs united into a rhombic or doubly ovate disk, narrowed to an obtuse tip or rounded and mucronate; spike short-peduncled; cor 1.5-2.5 cm, pale yellowish to purplish, gibbous near the base, hairy inside, the lips about equaling the tube. Moist woods and thickets, occasionally on dunes or in swamps. May, June. Four vars.:
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.