Information on Honeysuckle

Common Name: Honeysuckle
Scientific Name: Lonicera periclymenum
Irish Name: FĂ©ithleann
Family Group: Caprifoliaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period

Click for list of all flowering by month
Honeysuckle is not easily confused with other wild plants on this web site.

Also known as Woodbine, this deciduous woody climber twines itself over other shrubs and hedgerows, giving out a most heavenly fragrance.  From June to October it has distinctive creamy flowers which become pale yellow after pollination, often reddish outside.  They are 3-5cm long, tubular, two-lipped and arranged in a whorl on stems which become silver-grey as the summer progresses. The leaves are grey-green and lanceolate.  In autumn the scarlet berries appear in the hedgerows in clusters.  Honeysuckle is pollinated by bees by day and at night the moths are attracted by the wonderful scent, the Elephant Hawkmoth regularly visiting in search of nectar. This is a native plant belonging to the family Caprifoliaceae

I first identified the Honeysuckle in Glenmalure, Co Wicklow in 1952 and photographed it near Wellingtonbridge, Co Wexford in 1999.

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

' Woodbine .. good for whooping cough.' 

From the National Folklore Collection, University College Dublin. NFC S.454:18  From Co Kerry

'...how sweetly smells the honeysuckle
in the hush'd night....'

Alfred, Lord Tennyson  (1859)

Woodbind, wind and hold her,
Woodbind shall enfold her;
Hawk-moths hover in the night-
Love her and behold her.
All about the hazel wind,
Like lovers in their beds entwined.
Flowers, clothe my love in white;
Honeysuckle, twist and bind. 

Honeysuckle  :  Giles Watson  :  2005*

*  www.delta-intkey.com/angio/www/index.htm  Follow link to Poems on Flowering Plants