To help you create bird friendly habitat in your landscape, we will be posting a native plant each month which is beneficial to birds and pollinators. This month's plant is:
Trumpet Honeysuckle Vine (Lonicera sempervirens).
This lovely vine is also known as Coral Honeysuckle. It grows to about 15 feet in length in light exposure ranging from light shade to full sun. It is easily cultivated under a variety of situations from either seed or cuttings and can tolerate poor soil subject to drought. However, for maximum flowering, it is best cultivated in a sunny location. It is deciduous in North Florida (loses its leaves in the winter) but easily comes back in the spring. Trumpet Honeysuckle has beautiful red trumpet- shaped flowers which are irresistible to hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies. It produces small, brilliant red berries which are attractive to birds, including waxwings, woodpeckers, chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, crows, and jays.
If you do not have a yard to grow it in, you can grow it on your patio in a large pot using a cage or other supports for it to climb on and it can be easily pruned and shaped if you wish.
For local sources of native plants, check with the Ixia Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society. They often have native plants as well as cuttings available at their monthly meetings on the first Tuesday of each month. Check out their Events Calendar for all of their upcoming activities.
--Jody Willis, President, Duval Audubon Society