There are 52 species of honeysuckle (Lonicera) in the United States. Orange honeysuckle (Lonicera ciliosa (Pursh) Poir. ex DC.) is native to the west coast from British Columbia to Southern California. It is also found in Utah, Idaho and Montana. A cousin to orange honeysuckle, trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) has coral flowers and is native to the eastern United States. It is listed as endangered in Maine.
Bees and Honeysuckle
The name and fragrance of the honeysuckle blossoms bring to mind images of bees buzzing around the orange flowers. However, bees cannot get into the small opening of the trumpet-shaped flowers. They sometimes puncture the sides to get to the nectar. Bees are attracted to yellow, blue and purple flowers with short tubes so they can enter the flower for pollinating and harvesting the nectar.
Hummingbirds and Honeysuckle
Planting orange honeysuckle in your garden guarantees the presence of hummingbirds. The species native to your geographical area will come by to enjoy the nectar and entertain you with their whirling antics.
Butterflies and Honeysuckle
Butterflies will flutter around orange honeysuckle as they are attracted to the color of the flowers. This plant does not provide them with the safe landing place they prefer that is offered by plants like yarrow and butterfly weed.
Basket Weaving and Honeysuckle
Honeysuckle vine stems are flexible and very strong. The plant will climb and reach out on fences and along the ground. The vines are used today by basket weavers as they have been for hundreds of years.
Culinary and Medicinal Honeysuckle
Honeysuckle mixed with honey and water makes a good cough syrup. It also can be used to flavor sorbet. The sweet scent of honeysuckle is widely recognized and is sometimes used to describe the flowery taste in dessert wines.