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Californian Honeysuckle

Lonicera involucrata

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle)
Deciduous shrub
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
2 metres tall
Gardens, grassland, hedgerows, riversides, swamps, wasteland, woodland.

Red, 5 petals
Orange-yellow, tubular flowers (flushed red) which appear together in pairs. Insect pollinated.
Glossy, globular, black fruit. The seeds ripen from July to September.
Oval leaves which are pointed at the tip. Leaves appear in opposite pairs along the stems. Each leaf is up to 16cm long and 8cm wide.
Slightly fragrant flowers.
Other Names:
Bearberry Honeysuckle, Black Twinberry, Bracted Honeysuckle, Four-line Honeysuckle, Twinberry, Twinberry, Twinberry Honeysuckle.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Lonicera involucrata, also known as twinberry or bearberry honeysuckle, is a species of honeysuckle that is native to North America, specifically found in the western regions of Canada and the United States. It is a deciduous or evergreen shrub that typically grows up to 6 feet tall and wide. It is characterized by its green leaves, which are arranged in pairs, and its clusters of small, tubular flowers that are typically yellow or orange in color. The plant produces small, black or red berries that are attractive to birds.

Lonicera involucrata is a popular garden plant and is often used as a hedge, ground cover, or in rock gardens. It is hardy, easy to grow and tolerant of most soil types, but it does prefer well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade. It is also valued for its ornamental and ecological value, it is often used in wildlife gardens and as a naturalizing plant in woodlands and hedgerows. It is not considered invasive and can be a good alternative for gardeners who want to enjoy the benefits of honeysuckle without the invasive nature of other Lonicera species.


Californian Honeysuckle, also known as Lonicera involucrata, is a native shrub found throughout western North America, from Alaska to California. This beautiful plant is also commonly referred to as the twinberry honeysuckle, because of the paired berries that it produces.

Physical Appearance

Californian Honeysuckle grows up to six feet tall and four feet wide, with green, oblong-shaped leaves that are typically three inches long. The plant produces two-lobed, yellow or red flowers that bloom in early summer, followed by dark purple or black berries that ripen in late summer.


Californian Honeysuckle thrives in a variety of habitats, including moist meadows, stream banks, and forest edges. It prefers well-drained soil and partial shade, but can also tolerate full sun. The plant is commonly found at elevations of up to 10,000 feet and can withstand temperatures as low as -50°F.


Californian Honeysuckle has a variety of uses in landscaping and natural medicine. It is often used in erosion control and as a windbreak due to its dense growth habit. The plant is also a favorite among hummingbirds and butterflies, who are attracted to its nectar-rich flowers.

In traditional medicine, the leaves and berries of Californian Honeysuckle have been used to treat a variety of ailments, including respiratory infections, fever, and gastrointestinal issues. The plant contains compounds that have been shown to possess antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties.


Californian Honeysuckle is relatively easy to cultivate and can be propagated through seeds, cuttings, or division. The plant should be grown in well-drained soil and watered regularly during the growing season. Pruning can be done in the winter or early spring to promote new growth and maintain its shape.

In conclusion, Californian Honeysuckle is a beautiful and versatile plant that can add color and texture to any landscape. Its nectar-rich flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies, and its berries have a variety of medicinal properties. With proper care, this plant can thrive in a variety of environments and bring beauty and vitality to any garden.

More Information

Californian Honeysuckle is an important plant for wildlife as well. Many birds, such as robins, grosbeaks, and thrushes, feed on its berries, while small mammals, like chipmunks and squirrels, also enjoy them. The dense growth habit of the plant provides cover for small animals and nesting sites for birds.

The plant's common name, twinberry honeysuckle, comes from the fact that its berries are produced in pairs. These berries are edible for humans, but they are not commonly eaten due to their tart taste and seedy texture. However, they can be used to make jams, jellies, and syrups.

Californian Honeysuckle is also used in traditional Native American medicine. The plant's leaves and stems have been used to make teas that are said to help ease coughs and colds. The berries have been used to treat sore throats and other respiratory ailments.

In terms of conservation, Californian Honeysuckle is not considered a threatened species, but its populations are declining in some areas due to habitat loss and fragmentation. As such, efforts to conserve this species and its habitat are important to ensure its survival and the survival of the wildlife that depend on it.

Californian Honeysuckle is a versatile plant that can be used in a variety of landscape designs. It can be grown as a specimen plant, in mixed borders, or as part of a native plant garden. Its dense growth habit makes it a great choice for erosion control on slopes or along stream banks.

The plant is also tolerant of pruning, which makes it an excellent candidate for hedging or topiary. Its colorful flowers and berries make it a great accent plant, especially when planted in groups. Additionally, it can be used in naturalistic landscapes to create a more wild and natural look.

Californian Honeysuckle is relatively easy to care for, but it does require regular watering during the growing season. It is also susceptible to aphids and other insect pests, so periodic insect control measures may be necessary.

In terms of propagation, Californian Honeysuckle can be propagated from seeds, cuttings, or division. Seeds should be planted in the fall, and cuttings should be taken in the summer. Division can be done in the spring or fall.

In summary, Californian Honeysuckle is a beautiful and versatile plant that is well-suited for a variety of landscape designs. Its nectar-rich flowers and berries make it a valuable addition to any garden, and its traditional medicinal uses add to its appeal. With proper care and maintenance, this plant can thrive and provide beauty and benefits for years to come.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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