Lonicera fragrantissima Lindl. & Paxton
Xylosteon fragrantissimum (Lindl. & Paxton) Small
Winter Honeysuckle, Sweet Breath of Spring, January Jasmine, Fragrant Honeysuckle
Winter honeysuckle is native to China, but it has escaped from landscaping in North America, becoming established (sometimes very invasive) in the eastern United States.
Identification: Shrubs are 3-9½' (1-3 m) around. Leaves are opposite, roughly oval, with smooth edges. Blooms are a creamy white color, in pairs, appearing in March-April, and very fragrant, with a lemony smell. Fruits are orange to red berries up to ⅜" (1 cm) across.
Here is a comparison with some other honeysuckles and Mexican honeysuckle, which is a different genus.
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|Plant||Shrubs are 3-9½' (1-3 m) around||A vine up to 16' (5 m) in size. Young stems are reddish- or light-brown, while older stems are hollow, with peeling bark||Trumpet honeysuckle is a twining vine 3-20' (91-609 cm) long, depending upon what it has to climb over. Bark is orange-brown, and peeling.|
|Flowers||Blooms are a creamy white color, in pairs, appearing in March-April, and very fragrant, with a lemony smell||Flowers are white, showy, fragrant, about 1" (2.5 cm) in size. They fade to a yellow color, so the vine appears to have white and yellow flowers||In clusters of 2-4, each red or orange with yellow interiors, 1-2" (2.5-5 cm) long, trumpet-shaped. They appear from April to July.|
|Leaves||Leaves are opposite, roughly oval, with smooth edges||Leaves are opposite, roughly oval-shaped, with smooth edges. Younger leaves may have lobes||Roughly oval in shape, opposite, bluish green, and 1-3" (2.5-7.6 cm) long. Leaves at the base of flowers are fused at the base.|
|Fruit||Orange to red berries up to ⅜" (1 cm) across||Black, about ⅛" (3.2 mm) around||Berries are orange-red to deep red in color|
USDA Zones: 4-8
USDA Zones: 4-9
USDA Zones: 9-10
Lonicera fragrantissima on www.carolinanature.com
Lonicera fragrantissima at the Missouri Botanical Garden
Lonicera fragrantissima on the USDA Plants Database
Lonicera fragrantissima on Wikipedia
Lonicera fragrantissima on www.texasinvasives.org
Lonicera fragrantissima on floridata.com
Lonicera fragrantissima at the University of Connecticut Plant Database
Lonicera fragrantissima on Wildflowers of the United States
Lonicera fragrantissima on eFloras
Lonicera fragrantissima description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.
Range: Zones 4-8: