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Mexican Honeysuckle!

Mexican Honeysuckle - Lonicera

This is a close look at a rare and beautiful Lonicera vine - the Mexican Honeysuckle.  It was discovered in mountain forests of Durango in Mexico.  The species name hasn't been determined - it may be a variety of Lonicera pilosa, or it may be a new Lonicera species.  Either way, this is a terrific collector's plant.  I don't know anyone else offering seeds.

The Mexican Honeysuckle is an evergreen vine that grows to about 15 feet long here in San Francisco, although it is easily kept shorter.  The brilliant blooms typically appear from late spring through early fall.  The clusters have about 10-20 flowers, each about 2 inches long.  While their overall color is orange, they have multiple hues ranging from yellow to red.  The clusters are capped with an umbrella-like bract that protects the blooms from rain.  The flowers are about 50% longer than Lonicera pilosa, which is a similar-looking Mexican species.  This Honeysuckle doesn't have a scent.. but the hummingbirds don't seem to mind!

Mexican Honeysuckle - Lonicera pilosa

It comes from a climate with mild daytime temperatures and cool nights.  I don't have information on it's climate tolerances, but it's possible that it will not thrive if temperatures consistently get above 85 degrees F (29 F) especially if nights are warm.  It probably cannot survive more than a  light frost.  I recommend protecting it from freezing temperatures.  It prefers part sun, with protection from strong afternoon sun.  Give it something to climb through, like a trellis or a shrub.  It grows well in a pot in well-draining soil that's kept evenly moist.

Mexican Honeysuckle - Lonicera

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Tips on germinating the seeds

 

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