Honeysuckle

Botanical Name : Lonicera Periclymenum /Lonicera capri
Family: Caprifoliaceae
Genus:     Lonicera
Species: L. periclymenum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Dipsacales

Synonyms: Dutch Honeysuckle. Goats’ Leaf.
(French) Chèvre-feuille.
(German) Geisblatt.
(Italian) Capri-foglio.

Common names : Honeysuckle, common honeysuckle, European honeysuckle or woodbin

Habitat : It is found as far north as southern Norway and Sweden. In the UK it is one of two native honeysuckles, the other being Lonicera xylosteum. It is often found in woodland or in hedgerows or scrubland.It grows in Woods, hedgerows, scrub and shady places, avoiding calcareous s

Description:
Lonicera periclymenum is a deciduous Climber growing to 4.5 m (14ft 9in) or more in height, it is a vigorous evergreen twining climber.  The tubular, two-lipped flowers are creamy white or yellowish and very sweet smelling (especially during the night). The plant is usually pollinated by moths or long-tongued bees and develops bright red berries.

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It is hardy to zone 4 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to August, and the seeds ripen from Jul to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, lepidoptera, self.The plant is self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.

Cultivation:  
Succeeds in most soils from acid to base-rich.   Prefers its roots in the shade with its shoots climbing up into the sun. Plants succeed even in quite deep shade. Established plants are fairly drought tolerant. Plants are hardy to about -20°c. A very ornamental plant, there are a number of named varieties. The flowers are very fragrant, especially in the evening when it attracts pollinating moths. New leaves often start to open in January with well-grown leaves in April. The leaves fall in November.  Twining plants, they can bind themselves so tightly round young trees that they can prevent the trunk from being able to expand. A very good moth and butterfly plant, it is also an important food for many caterpillars including the larvae of the rare white admiral butterfly. The dense growth of the plant offers good nesting possibilities for birds.

Propagation: 
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed requires 2 months cold stratification and should be sown as soon as possible in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7 – 10cm with or without a heel, July/August in a frame. Good percentage. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season’s growth, 15 – 20cm with or without a heel, November in a cold frame. Good percentage. Layering in autumn.

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Edible Uses:  Children (of all ages) suck the base of the flowers to extract the swweet nectar.

Medivinal Uses:
Parts Used:  Flowers, seeds, leaves.

The plant has expectorant and laxative properties. A syrup made from the flowers has been used in the treatment of respiratory diseases whilst a decoction of the leaves is considered beneficial in treating diseases of the liver and spleen. It is used as a mouthwash for ulcers and is considered to be a good ingredient in gargles. The flowers are antispasmodic, astringent, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge and sudorific. The fruit is emetic and cathartic. The herbage is used as a cutaneous and mucous tonic and as a vulnerary. It is also diaphoretic. The leaves are laxative and slightly astringent. The seed is diuretic. The bark is anticatarrhal, depurative, diuretic and sudorific.

The Chinese use honeysuckle flowers extensively to treat sore throat, colds, flu, tonsillitis, bronchitis and pneumonia. Honeysuckle flower extracts are strongly active against many microorganisms that cause sore throat and respiratory conditions. It has broad spectrum antimicrobial activity against salmonella typhi, pseudomonas aeruginosa, staphylococcus aureus and streptococcus pneumoniae. It’s considered the echinacea of Chinese medicine. It’s also been shown to have an inhibitory effect with tuberculosis. A suggested help is making a tea with a handful of flowers per cup of oiling water and drinking up to three cups a day. The bark is diuretic and may be taken to relieve gout, kidney stones and liver problems. In winter a decoction of twigs and dried leaves can be drunk adding lemon and honey for flavor. The leaves are astringent and make a good gargle and mouthwash for sore throats and canker sores. The FDA has not put honeysuckle on its GRAS list

CHINESE: Clears heat and relieves fire toxicity: for hot, painful sores and swellings in various stages of development, especially of the breast, throat, or eyes. Also for Intestinal abscess. Expels externally-contracted wind-heat: for the early stages of warm-febrile diseases with such symptoms as fever, slight sensitivity to wind, sore throat, and headache. Also for externally-contracted summer heat. Clears damp-heat from the lower burner: for damp-heat dysenteric disorder or painful urinary dysfunction.

Other Uses
A climbing plant, it can be allowed to scramble on the ground where it makes a good ground cover. Plants should be spaced about 1.2 metres apart each way[

Known Hazards:  Poisonous in large doses. It only has a very mild action.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lonicera_periclymenum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Lonicera+periclymenum
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/h/honeys31.html

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_FGH.htm

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