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Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Diervilla (after Diereville, a French surgeon, who took D. Lonicera to Europe early in the eighteenth century). Caprifoliaceae. Weigela. Ornamental deciduous shrubs, grown for their showy flowers appearing profusely in spring and early summer.

Leaves opposite, petioled or nearly sessile, serrate: fls. in 1- to several-fld. axillary cymes, often panicled at the end of the branches, yellowish white, pink or crimson, epigynous; calyx 5-toothed or 5-parted; corolla tubular or campanulate, 5-lobed, sometimes slightly 2-lipped; stamens 5; style slender with large capitate stigma; ovary inferior, elongated, 2-celled: fr. a slender, 2-valved caps, with numerous minute seeds.—About 10 species in E. Asia and N. Amer.

Diervillas are shrubs of spreading habit, with more or less arching branches, rather large leaves, and, especially the Asiatic species, with very showy flowers from pure white to dark crimson, appearing in spring. A very large number of hybrids between the different Asiatic species have been raised and have become great favorites in gardens on account of their profusely produced and delicately tinted flowers. The earliest to bloom are D, praecox and its hybrids and also D. florida var. venusta, which begin to flower in Massachusetts about the middle of May; the latest is D. rivularis. The American species are hardy North and prefer moist and partly shaded positions. Of the Asiatic species D, Middendorffiana is the hardiest, but rarely does well; it seems to grow best in humid sandy or peaty soil and in positions sheltered from strong winds; it dislikes hot and dry air; D. florida also is rather hardy and one of the handsomest species of the genus. The other Asiatic species require protection during the winter or sheltered positions. They thrive well in any humid garden soil. Propagation is readily effected by greenwood cuttings or hardwood cuttings; the American species usually by suckers and by seeds sown in spring.

D. splendens, Carr. (D. Lonicera X D. sessilifolia). Intermediate between the parents; more similar to L. sessilifolia, but lvs. short- petioled. Garden origin.—D. suaris, Komarov. Allied to D. japonica, Lvs. ovate-lanceolate, ciliate, otherwise glabrous, sparingly serrate, 1-2 in. long: corolla white, pink outside; style not exserted. Manchuria. Recently intro.; presumably quite hardy.— D. Wagneri, Kusnesov (D. japonica X D. Middendorffiana). Lvs. ovate-oblong, glabrous except on the veins below: fls. axillary on short branchlets; sepals lanceolate, distinct or partly connate, pink, tinged yellowish. Garden origin. Gt. 48:1461.—Doubtful whether still in cult. Alfred Rehder.

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.

"Bush Honeysuckle" is also the common name of Lonicera maackii, a common invasive shrub in the United States and New Zealand.
Bush Honeysuckle
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Northern bush honeysuckle
Northern bush honeysuckle
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Order: Dipsacales
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Family: Caprifoliaceae
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Bush Honeysuckle (Diervilla) is genus of three species of deciduous shrubs in the family Caprifoliaceae, all indigenous to eastern North America. The genus is named after a French surgeon Dr. Dierville, who introduced the plant to Europe around 1700.

The bush honeysuckles are low in height (1-2 m), of small to medium diameter (1-2 m), and develop into colonies by means of spreading underground rhizomes. Their leaves are simple, opposite and either oval or lanceolate in shape with a toothed edge. The fall color varies between yellow, orange and red. Small tubular flowers, typically pale yellow, are produced in June and July.

  • Diervilla sessilifoliaSouthern bush honeysuckle
  • Diervilla loniceraNorthern bush honeysuckle (other names Low bush honeysuckle, Dwarf bush honeysuckle, Yellow-flowered upright honeysuckle)
  • Diervilla rivularisMountain bush honeysuckle (other names Georgia bush honeysuckle, Hairy bush honeysuckle)

Other species formerly included in Diervilla are now treated in the genus Weigela. The bush honeysuckles are commonly confused with the common wild honeysuckle (Lonicera tartarica), or the Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica), both members of the closely related genus Lonicera.

The British Diervilla national collection is held at Sheffield Botanical Gardens; along with the national collection of the closely related Weigela genus.[1]

Diervilla species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Common Emerald and The Engrailed.


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