WiseAcre Gardens

north of the adirondacks – wildflowers & perennials that survive winters colder than my wife's feet

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Posted by WiseAcre on Jul 3rd, 2012

Northern Bush Honeysuckle

Jul 3

I photographed this native plant south of the high peaks in the Adirondacks near Newcomb, NY. I found these growing in dry, rocky soil. Light conditions varied from nearly full sun to plenty of shade. Although the common name includes ‘northern’ the plant can be found as far south as Alabama and Georgia.

Northern Bush-honeysuckle – Diervilla lonicera

northern bush honeysuckle

The plant’s species name lonicera (Latin for ‘honeysuckle’) refers to its similarity in appearance to the genus Lonicera – the true honeysuckles.

The toothed leaves are a good clue to the identity, this is the only ‘honeysuckle’ with teeth. The plant ranges from 1 to 4 foot tall and grows in a shrub like form. The flowers are small, less than an inch long and usually yellow and occasionally reddish.

Diervilla lonicera - northern bush honeysuckle flowers

I know photographing northern bush honeysuckle isn’t much to write home about but it’s been a long time since I have identified a new wildflower (for me) and adding a new species to my ‘collection’ makes it good enough for my blog.

…and now for a completely different wildflower

I’m positive I’ve already overdone posting pics of orange hawkweed but here’s another one.

Orange Hawkweed – Hieracium aurantiacum

My lawn is full of these and other alien hawkweeds that are typically yellow. Hawkweed flowers look a lot like dandelions from a distance and the yellow ones don’t really turn me on. But the orange is pretty to my eyes and I often stop to take a closer look at the colors on the Devil’s Paintbrush.

devil's paintbrush

Generally, the leaves are a good way to tell the difference between native and alien hawkweed species. Natives generally have leaves that ascend the stems whereas aliens generally form a basal rosette.

While I might not fully appreciate the beauty of yellow hawkweed flowers I do like some of their names. King Devil (a yellow version of the Devil’s Paintbrush), Rattlesnake-weed and Mouse Ear Hawkweed all sound cool to me.

7 Responses

  1. Becky Says:

    I bet it would be a cute little devil who could use those petals for a paintbrush. Glad to hear you are still out and about with the “wild things.”

  2. Marguerite Says:

    I’ve got a ton of hawkweed here in the lawn as well but it seems to be mostly of the yellow variety. There’s so many yellow weeds I could use some orange ones to change up the colour palette.

  3. Indie Says:

    Aha, I’ve been wondering what that flower is that I’ve seen up north that looks like a dandelion with different leaves! Thanks for the info! That orange one is pretty.

  4. Donna Says:

    I just learned of Hawkweed this year. I have seen it before, but did not know the name. It really is a pretty flower.

  5. andrea Says:

    found your site while researching for flowers and butterflies. I have been looking for the honeysuckle bush since seeing it at a local nature center. It was attracting swallowtails with it’s blooms in early May. Had only ever seen as a vine before then. Great photos on the site.

  6. Sunny Says:

    how gorgeous!and how rare to find somhneitg new after all those years!total gift!these photos are so fun!HOw many photos do you tend to take on an outing like that?I would say I would take about 200!I am not as good at getting scenery shots though, but my girls take them for me alot!you should see when we go to the forest preserves for a walk, all 4 of us have cameras, it’s ridiculous!! LOL!!!we had the BEST weekend!we went for a family bike ride, to a park, to the pool, out for ice cream, I got to exercise and go for a walk alone. I started a chapter book with my girls (The Mandie Series) and we love it so far!!!glad you had a nice weekend!xoxotara

  7. stone Says:

    I have a plant blooming now with a similar bloom to your bush honey-suckle, collinsonia-anisata…
    I have another plant that has a similar bloom to your hawkweed, Emilia fosbergii.

    You must be working your butt off these days, to be posting so infrequently…

    I think maybe you should take some time off, and post more….