SOLVED: What kind of honeysuckle am i?

Kaycee, WY(Zone 3b)

Good Morning everybody
I as wondering if anybody out there knows of this honeysuckle. My folks got it 48 years ago and used it as a hedge. They took it out years ago,but some is still growing in there backyard. I dug up a start of it. My mom says its has purple flowers with yellow in the middle . It spreads fast and has huge thorns. I haven't been able to find what it's called anywhere. I'm in hope one of you will know of it.
Thanks so much.
Here are some pics of it.

Thumbnail by wild_willow
Kaycee, WY(Zone 3b)

Here is another pic of it.

Thumbnail by wild_willow
Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

I never thought Lonicera had thorns..

Compton, AR(Zone 6a)

Nope, I never heard of a honeysuckle with thorns, or with alternate leaves.

Kaycee, WY(Zone 3b)

Hello there
Then do you have any clue what it can be? I know its old...i remmber it as a kid and im almost 43.... i also remmber that the bees went crazy when it flowers. That might be why also i haven't been able to find it under honeysuckle lol

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Do you remember what the flowers look like? Large? Fragrance? Do they look like a honeysuckle flower?

Kaycee, WY(Zone 3b)

Hello Lev
The flowers are small and are dark purple. With of course the stamina yellow. The smelled wonderful when in bloom. The fruit is a bright orange-red and tubular.
For the most part ,yes they look like a honeysuckle flower only smaller. As a kid when it flowered there would be tons of bubble bees and well all kinds of bees and huming birds , birds ... I do remmber my Mom saying she had wished she had never planted it because it was invasive and the bees would come and my sister was allergic to them.
Just called her again and she is still insisting that its a honeysuckle . Sure wished i could find out forsure. If your don't prune goes more like a bush .
Hope this helps.

North Brunswick, NJ

Becky - I think your pictures show Lycium halimifolium, also known as matrimony vine. Your flower and fruit description and your mother's indication that it is invasive are tipoffs. Does it produce long, arching stems if left unpruned?

By the way, there are several citations on the Web that indicate that matrimony vine contains some potent compounds that could cause big trouble if ingested.


Lincoln, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

rrog, that is what I was trying to think of, I had it marked in my Chiltern's catalogue but was too lazy to look. (large catalogue) They have Lycium chinense the description from their site:

LYCIUM CHINENSE Solanaceae Chinese Matrimony Vine, Duke of Argyll's Tea Tree, Chinese Boxthorn
Genus: LYCIUM More from the LYCIUM genus
Family Name: Solanaceae More seeds with the Family name Solanaceae
Synonym: Lycium barbarum, Lycium halimiifolium
Seed Catalogue No.: 831X
English Name: Chinese Matrimony Vine, Duke of Argyll's Tea Tree, Chinese Boxthorn seeds
Description: This is a vigorous, medium-sized, sometimes spiny, deciduous shrub with scrambling, arching branches. From June to September it bears all along the stems clusters of purple flowers followed by very ornamental, highly coloured orange or scarlet, small, egg-shaped fruits. It is one of the best of all shrubs for seaside planting and, particularly the spiny ones, makes good informal hedges.

Classification: Hardy, Shrub

Lincoln, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

here are some pics

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Anyone notice the pitfalls of solely using common names? Especially from radically different climates (even within the same country)?

The description provided fits these two species, noted by rrog2001 and wallaby1.

Hope (if this is truly the pest described) that this one isn't propagated further.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

I have never heard of this...well at least now you know what it is. :~)

Lincoln, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)


Chiltern's mention L. barbarum and L. halimiifolium as being Synonyms of L chinense (note barbarum and barbatum).

I did a search for L barbatum and found this site which mentions others

Chinese Wolfberry Lycium barbarum
Chinese Wolfberry Lycium barbatum Thunb.:
Chinese wolfberry Lycium barbatum var. chinense:
Chinese Wolfberry Lycium chinense
Chinese Wolfberry Lycium megistocarpum:
Chinese Wolfberry Lycium ovatum:
Chinese Wolfberry Lycium trewianum:
Chinese Wolfberry Lycium turbinatum:

This site mentions L. barbatum L (L. halimiifolium Mill)

All google image links


L. barbatum is mentioned only (no other Lyciums) on this education site, the title being


L. barbatum again on this site, as an introduced plant

The leaves on this pic of L. barbatum have the pale midrib

Also L. barbatum here

L. barbatum seems to be very common, the leaves look to match also.

Kaycee, WY(Zone 3b)

Hello everybody
Can I say omg!
The pics everyone sent,matched it to a T!
I went out this morning looking for anyother kind of description i could send,and there it was a flower. It's the very same as you all can see! Should i dig and burn it straight away? Also it don't have no fragance that i could tell.
Thanks so much for finding out what this truley is. I guess i must of questioned it as a honeysuckle, sure didn't look like any i have seen. My folks to have a true honeysuckle thats a light pink and im wondering if this is how she got confused ,or maybe years ago it was labled as one...
I shall waiting to see what advice all of you have on whether to keep it or burn it.
Thanks agian
Here are the pics i took this moring of the flower.

Thumbnail by wild_willow
Kaycee, WY(Zone 3b)

Here is another pic of it.

Thumbnail by wild_willow
Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

If you believe in preserving as much of your native plant community as you can (as one person) by not contributing to infestation by invasive exotics, then you ought to eliminate plants that are the problems. You can probably find ten other plants that will perform the function you wish in your landscape that do NOT contribute to the degradation of lands and plant communities outside your property.

I know nothing about WY vegetation, but I believe the process of judgment and selection of plants to be universal. Good luck with your gardening!

Compton, AR(Zone 6a)

If the original was taken out "years" ago, and there is only "some" still growing there, it doesn't appear to be very aggressive/invasive in that area.

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Extraneous comments hereby deleted.

On the other hand...wild_willow can move in a positive direction with this link.

This message was edited May 23, 2006 6:37 AM

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Comment deleted ...

This message was edited May 23, 2006 1:56 AM

Kaycee, WY(Zone 3b)

Good Morning
Thanks so much to each and everyone of you for your wonderful advice and in helping me find out what this vine truly is. My folks planted it as a hedge... so there was tons of it to rip out and it was hard because it would come back. I dug up a small chunk to take home with me ,becaue it reminded me of my childhood days. It has not went far in my yard in that time. I have choosen to tear it out,because the creek is less then 20 feet from my house ,,,,pines,gooseberries,currants,wild choke cherries and such grow then among other plants and i honestly wouldnt want this vine to choke out whats there. I love to walk across and admire.
So again thanks everyone :)

Post a Reply to this Thread

Please or sign up to post.