I have a honeysuckle vine, Harlequin. It has beautiful pink flowers and
blooms all summer with the most wonderful smell.
It is my habit to sit on my deck in the early morning to drink my coffee and
watch the birds. And this honeysuckle, especially just after dawn throws
off this wonderful, wonderful aroma.
I would like to find its equivalent in a shrub, not a vine. Does anyone
know of such a honeysuckle and where I can get it.
Thanks a bunch
There are quite a few varieties of shrub honeysuckle and many of them do
produce fragrant but insignificant flowers, but they all tend to be large,
Lonicera pileata, nitida or fragrantissima are some of the most common shrub
forms. Other species are also available but many are discouraged as
ornamentals due to their selfseeding/invasive nature.
You might want to consider something like a daphne - most have incredible
fragrance and are rather tidy shrubs with no propensity to overtake the
pam - gardengal
You can have the scent of honeysuckle at the height of winter if your zone
will support Winter Honeysuckle, Lonicera ragrantissima:
It is a twiggy shrub that blooms in winter well before its leaves are
returning, so though the fragrant blooms are smaller than summer
honeysuckles, they're really quite showy in the winter context & with no
leaves to detract from the white flowers. After it starts to re-leaf, it
produces larger than average honeysuckle fruits, so still rather
There are many deciduous azaleas that have extremely redolent perfume,
though only for one month of spring. Here's one that singlehandedly
sweetens up the atmosphere while it's flowering:
Another one that is fantastically redolent is the wild (non-hybridized)
Western Azalea (Rhododendron occidentale).
In their natural range in Oregon, they are often called "honeysuckle
bush" because the sweet scent can be detected long before one reaches the
We have a smaller deciduous azalea with that smells of cloves & spice even
from a great distance:
And this evergreen species rhododendron:
smells wonderfully of cinnamon. But for a rhody with PERSISTANT sweet
odor, this hard-to-find but worth-the-hunt shrub is the one:
R. tolmachevii has the most powerfully redolent leaves of any rhody I've
experienced. To some it might be a bit too medicinal a scent, but I just
love it. I planted it right on the path & smell it year round, as the
slightest breeze seems to be enough to induce the leaves to release their
scent. When I weed around it, brushing into it, I can smell its scent on
my clothing for a long time after.
The most strikingly scented shrubs are the Lilacs. Around here they're
rather cliche shrubs but beautiful enough to deserve so much attention,
though if you wanted something a bit less common, there are many rarer
types of lilacs worth driving a bit further to obtain from larger
nurseries with more than the usual to choose from.
The untidy butterfly bush flowers a very long time. The blooms smell of
the best grade of honey tinctured with vanilla. Good golly they're great
for their odor, as also for the largeness & persistance of the blooms. If
you track down an alleged "dwarf" you'll have an eight foot tall
fountaining shrub slightly easier to manage for size & no less flowery.
Here's my "Nanho Blue":
Except for needing pruning or they get out of hand, butterfly bushes grow
great without any attention. It's a good choice for a location where water
doesn't reach, like maybe on the road or near where you usually park the
car, so that you smell it every time you go somewhere & return.
There are a couple different shrubs called "Mock Orange" because the
flowers smell like orange blossoms, including Western Syringa:
but the odor can be less than sweet at too close a range, so it should be
part of a pefume array a bit further from the central location.
For a really hot sunny spot, Mexican Mock Orange is a good choice for
beauty & scent. I have one called "Aztec Pearl" which smells of almonds:
If you planted rosemary & lavender nearby -- they too like dryish hot
sunny spots so all live happily together -- you'd have a veritable
scent-factory, & the lavender in particular can bloom from late spring
to mid-Autumn for persistant perfume. The Rosemary will grow to be a six
foot tall shrub or larger & release its odor mainly when knocked into:
As a foot note, if you plant some hyacinths at the foot of all your
shrubs, on the sunnyside, man oh man will the garden be filled with
scent. I always thought hyacinths were too damned gaudy & I like subtler
flowers, but the super-duper perfume induced me to plant them, &
they're especially nice to add around shrubs with unperfumed flowers.
-paghat the ratgirl
The lavender, depending on variety & species (so select well) can become a
three or four foot tall & wide shrub that blooms so persistently &
smells so nice:
Lemon verbena is a small semi-creeping subshrub in my zone, not physically
impressive; but in a hotter zone it would be a great big floppy shrub,
untidy like a butterfly bush, but the great thing is the leaves are the
most powerfully redolent leaves of any I have experienced. You don't have
to bruise the shrub to smell the sweet lemon sucker smell. Of all the
citrusy shrubs this one's the best for its scent, & because it is the
leaves rather than the flowers that smell so fine, the scent is present
mid-spring through late autumn. It is also the #1 make-your-own-tea plant
you can have in the garden:
Fotrhergilla's spring bottlebrushes smell of wild honey, plus the autumn
colors are super.
I've found the scent does not travel far, though.
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
I know there are many kinds of honeysuckle shrubs. I even have some, but
they bloom only in the spring. I would like to have a honeysuckle that
blooms all summer as the Harlequin does and that smells as lovely.
So many of the modern honeysuckles have no smell at all.
I live in what is considered to be a semi-arid area of the Potomac Highlands
in WV. Usually we get comparatively little rain. I have heard that the
last time we have had as much rain as in this year was 1901. However, most
years we don't get a lot.
I cannot grow azaleas here, partly because of the dryness but mostly because
of the bitter winds. I live on a hill in a valley between two mountains.
The valley acts as a windtunnel in winter for some reason. I have tried
wrapping azaleas in burlap, buying those that were developed in Wisconsin
for growing there and so on. No luck. I had dozens, only one is left
They do grow azaleas in town, but I think they succeed because they are more
or less sheltered from the wind by houses and other buildings.
I don't know about daphne. I am not sure we can grow it here. (Zone 5).
Although we are in WV, our weather is comparable to much further north. It
was 23 below at least one night last winter. I blame that on the
So, I am still looking for a Honeysuckle shrub that behaves like my
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