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Lonicera sempervirens Trumpet Honeysuckle

Edward F. Gilman, Ryan W. Klein, and Gail Hansen


Although a vigorous twining vine, the native trumpet honeysuckle does not spread out of control quite as easily as Japanese honeysuckle. The delicate but striking, two-inch-long, tapered, trumpet-shaped crimson blooms appear from April through summer and are set against a background of dark green, smooth leaves. The flowers are particularly attractive to hummingbirds but are not fragrant. Evergreen in the lower South, trumpet honeysuckle may die back during a hard freeze. Quickly covering fences, lampposts, or mailboxes, trumpet honeysuckle is an excellent vine to use for naturalizing. Train it onto an arbor or trellis in the full sun for good, thick coverage.

Full Form - Lonicera sempervirens: Trumpet Honeysuckle
Figure 1. Full Form - Lonicera sempervirens: Trumpet Honeysuckle
Credit: Edward F. Gilman, UF/IFAS


Leaf and Flower - Lonicera sempervirens: Trumpet Honeysuckle
Figure 2. Leaf and Flower - Lonicera sempervirens: Trumpet Honeysuckle
Credit: Edward F. Gilman, UF/IFAS

General Information

Scientific name: Lonicera sempervirens

Pronunciation: lah-NISS-ser-ruh sem-per-VYE-renz

Common name(s): coral honeysuckle, trumpet honeysuckle

Family: Caprifoliaceae

Plant type: vine

USDA hardiness zones: 4 through 10A (Figure 3)

Planting month for zone 7: year round

Planting month for zone 8: year round

Planting month for zone 9: year round

Planting month for zone 10: year round

Origin: native to Florida

Invasive potential: aggressive, spreading plant

Uses: hanging basket; attracts hummingbirds

Availability: generally available in many areas within its hardiness range

Shaded area represents potential planting range.
Figure 3. Shaded area represents potential planting range.


Height: depends upon supporting structure

Spread: depends upon supporting structure

Plant habit: spreading

Plant density: moderate

Growth rate: fast

Texture: medium


Leaf arrangement: opposite/subopposite

Leaf type: simple

Leaf margin: entire

Leaf shape: ovate

Leaf venation: pinnate

Leaf type and persistence: semi-evergreen

Leaf blade length: less than 2 inches

Leaf color: green

Fall color: no fall color change

Fall characteristic: not showy


Flower color: red

Flower characteristic: spring flowering; summer flowering


Fruit shape: round

Fruit length: less than 0.5 inch

Fruit cover: unknown

Fruit characteristic: inconspicuous and not showy

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: typically multi-trunked or clumping stems

Current year stem/twig color: reddish

Current year stem/twig thickness: thin


Light requirement: plant grows in part shade/part sun

Soil tolerances: slightly alkaline; clay; sand; acidic; loam

Drought tolerance: moderate

Soil salt tolerances: unknown

Plant spacing: 36 to 60 inches


Roots: not applicable

Winter interest: no special winter interest

Outstanding plant: plant has outstanding ornamental features and could be planted more

Pest resistance: no serious pests are normally seen on the plant

Use and Management

Trumpet honeysuckle tolerates most soils except dry sands. As with many vines, some training may be needed to direct growth. Vines will accumulate foliage on top of a fence or other structure but yearly heading back can encourage growth close to the ground. It is best suited for sunny locations and flowers poorly in the shade.

Propagation is by softwood cuttings that root easily or layering stem sections where they touch the ground.

Several cultivars are available: 'Sulphurea' has bright yellow flowers; 'Superba' has bright scarlet flowers and broadly oval leaves; and 'Magnifica' has large, bright red blooms and is late-flowering.

Pests and Diseases

No pests are of major concern.

Aphids suck plant juices and coat the leaves with sticky honeydew. The insects can be dislodged with high pressure water sprays from the garden hose. Leaf rollers roll leaves together, then web them in place. Hand pick infested leaves. Four-lined plant bug causes sunken, round, brown spots on the leaves. The injury is sometimes mistaken for a disease. Adult insects are yellowish green with black stripes.

No diseases are of major concern.

Many fungi cause leaf spots, but chemical control is rarely warranted.

Various genera of powdery mildews form white powder on the leaves.

Publication #FPS-354

Release Date:November 6, 2023

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About this Publication

This document is FPS-354, one of a series of the Department of Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 2007. Revised October 2023. Visit the EDIS website at for the currently supported version of this publication.

About the Authors

Edward F. Gilman, professor emeritus; Ryan W. Klein, assistant professor, arboriculture; and Gail Hansen, professor, sustainable landscape design; Department of Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.


  • Gail Hansen de Chapman