BUSH HONEYSUCKLE GRAVELWEED





(Diervilla Diervilla; D. trifida of Gray) Honeysuckle family



Flowers - Yellow, small, fragrant, 1 to 5 (usually 3) together on

a peduncle from upper leaf-axils. Calyx tube slender, elongated;

corolla narrowly funnel-form, about 3/4 in. long, its 5 lobes

spreading, 3 of them somewhat united; 5 stamens; 1 pistil

projecting. Stem: A smooth, branching shrub 2 to 4 ft. high.

Leaves. Opposite, oval, and taper-pointed, finely saw-edged.

Fruit: Slender, beaked pods crowned with the 5 calyx lobes.

Preferred Habitat - Dry or rocky soil, woodlands, hills.

Flowering Season - May-August.

Distribution - British Possessions southward to Michigan and

North Carolina.



The coral honeysuckle determined to woo the hummingbird by

wearing his favorite color; the twining white and yellow

honeysuckles of our porches chose for their benefactors the

sphinx moths, attracting them by delicious fragrance and deeply

hidden nectar in slender tubes that are visible even in the dark;

whereas the small-flowered bush honeysuckles still cater to the

bees which, in all probability, once sufficed for the entire

family. For them a conspicuous landing place has been provided in

the more highly colored lower lobe of this flower, from which the

visitor cannot fail to find the pocket full of nectar that swells

the base of the tube but when he alights, pollen laden from

another blossom, he must pay toll by leaving some of the

vitalizing dust on the projecting stigma before he feasts and

dusts himself afresh. After they have been plundered, and

consequently fertilized, all the honeysuckles change color, this

one taking on a deeper yellow to let the bees know the larder is

empty, that they may waste no precious time, but confine their

visits where they are needed. "Many flowers adapted to bees show

butterflies, hawk moths and hummingbirds as intruders," says

Professor Robertson; "and this is important, since it enables us

to understand how bee-flowers might become modified to suit them"

- just as certain of the honeysuckles have done. Once the

Oriental pink weigelias, grown in nearly every American garden,

were thought to belong to the Diervilla clan, from which

later-day systematists have banished them.



The EARLY FLY or TWIN HONEYSUCKLE (Lonicera ciliata), found in

moist, cool woods from Pennsylvania and Michigan far northward,

sends forth pairs of funnel-form, honey-yellow flowers, about

three-quarters of an inch long, with five, regular lobes, on a

slender footstalk from the leaf axils in May. It is a straggling,

shrubby bush from three to five feet tall. The opposite leaves

are thin, oval, bright green on both sides, the edges hairy. Two

little ovoid, light red berries follow the flowers.



Another species, a shrubby SWAMP FLY-HONEYSUCKLE (L.

oblongifolia), found in wet ground and bogs throughout a similar

range, blooming about two weeks later, coats the under side of

its young leaves with fine hairs to prevent their pores from

clogging with vapors arising from its moist retreats. The little

pale yellow flowers, also growing in pairs on a footstalk from

the leaf axils, have their tubular corollas strongly cleft into

two lips. Reddish markings within serve as pathfinders for the

bumblebee, who finds so much nectar at the base that a tiny

bulging pocket had to be provided to hold it. Sometimes the two

flowers join below like Siamese twins, in which case the pair of

crimson berries become more or less united.



"So we grew together,

Like to a double cherry, seeming parted."





One occasionally finds the pink and white twin-flowered TARTARIAN

BUSH HONEYSUCKLE (L. Tartarica) escaped from cultivation in the

Eastern States through the agency of birds which feast upon its

little round, red, translucent berries.





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