General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Slightly alkaline (7.4 – 7.8)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 4a -34.4 °C (-30 °F) to -31.7 °C (-25 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 8b
Plant Height: 8-20 feet, usually 8 to 10 feet
Plant Spread: 8-20 feet, usually 8 to 10 feet
Leaves: Semi-evergreen
Fruit: Other: dark red beries hide under foliage
Fruiting Time: Late spring or early summer
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: White
Flower Time: Late winter or early spring
Uses: Windbreak or Hedge
Provides winter interest
Cut Flower
Will Naturalize
Toxicity: Fruit is poisonous
Other: The berries are mildly toxic
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Cuttings: Tip
Containers: Not suitable for containers
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil

Common names
  • Winter Honeysuckle
  • Fragrant Honeysuckle
  • Sweet Breath of Spring

  • Posted by Ispahan (Chicago - Zone 6a) on Nov 7, 2011 10:06 AM concerning plant:
    A truly amazing shrub. While not the most attractive growth habit, it offers the winter/early spring garden several weeks of intense, delicious, wafting, pervasive, sweet, addictive perfume. In a good year, flowers will last 6-8 weeks and are impervious to rain, snow, frost, ice, hail and wind. In spite of the often rangy growth habit, try to prune as little as possible so you will not sacrifice any of next year's glorious blooms.
  • Posted by robertduval14 (Milford, New Hampshire - Zone 5b) on Mar 7, 2013 6:38 PM concerning plant:
    Honeybees make the best tasting honey when feeding on the nectar of these flowers.
  • Posted by violabird (Mid GA - Zone 8a) on Nov 28, 2011 8:32 PM concerning plant:
    I agree about the scent: It's powerfull flowery-lemon to me. I do cut mine back as soon as it stops flowering and still get plenty of blooms each year.
  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Aug 8, 2018 10:55 AM concerning plant:
    This Winter Honeysuckle is native to eastern China. I have only seen a few specimens at Morton Arboretum in northeast Illinois and at Tyler Arboretum in southeast Pennsylvania. It is a rare plant in North America. It is not known to really escape cultivation much and become a horrible invasive thing like some other shrub honeysuckles from Eurasia. It is noted as having wonderfully lemon-like fragrant flowers in late winter and early spring. Its dark red berries hide under the foliage. It does not get autumn coloration. It has sort of a messy habit.
Plant Events from our members
SkirtGardener On June 27, 2020 Obtained plant
WebTucker On January 28, 2022 Bloomed
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