Honeysuckles are arching shrubs or twining vines in the family Caprifoliaceae, native to the Northern Hemisphere.
There are about 180 species of honeysuckle, 100 of which occur in China; Europe, India and North America, with about 20 native species each.
Widely known species include Lonicera periclymenum (honeysuckle or woodbine), Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle, white honeysuckle, or Chinese honeysuckle) and Lonicera sempervirens (coral honeysuckle, trumpet honeysuckle, or woodbine honeysuckle).
Hummingbirds are attracted to the flowers on some of these plants.
It is also a useful and easy plant to grow to encourage wildlife into the garden. The flowers start white but turn yellow after they have been pollinated and eventually bear round red fruits which are important food for songbirds.
Honeysuckle always twines clockwise and, given the support, will do so very high, spiralling up a tree towards the light.
Many of the species have sweetly-scented, bilaterally symmetrical flowers that produce a sweet, edible nectar, and most flowers are borne in clusters of two
Honeysuckles are valued as garden plants, for their ability to cover unsightly walls and outbuildings, their profuse tubular flowers in summer, and the intense fragrance of many varieties.
The scent is fruity and warm and gently erotic. The botanical reason for this strength of smell is to attract the moths – hence its increased power at night – that pollinate it.