Lonicera nitida 'Lemon Beauty'

yellow box honeysuckle

When most people think of honeysuckle, the sweet smell of the weedy Japanese honeysuckle vine generally comes to mind of Southerners while those of more northern heritage recall the large, gangly shrubby species. Few folks think of the wonderful evergreen species called boxleaf honeysuckle despite its tough constitution and many excellent garden attributes.

Depending on your taxonomist of choice, there are over 180 species of honeysuckle around the world all occurring in the Northern Hemisphere. Well over half of these shrubs and vines are found in Asia. Lonicera nitida is found mostly in the provinces of Sichuan and Yunnan in southern China.

In the landscape, boxleaf honeysuckle makes a small shrub to about 5' high and wide although it can get larger if happy. The small, glossy leaves are attractive and plants may be allowed to grow in a natural shape or pruned regularly to make formal hedges. Boxleaf honeysuckle thrives in sun or part shade and is relatively drought tolerant once well established. The excellent selection called 'Lemon Beauty' has tiny green leaves each bordered by a bright golden edge. Plants are easy to grow in full sun to part shade and make an excellent addition to perennial borders, foundation plantings, woodland gardens, and containers.