Lonicera fragrantissima

Winter Honeysuckle is a bushy shrub that can be up to 3m tall. It flowers from December till March, small white flowers extremely fragrant.

It is native from the leafy forests East of China. It was introduced in England around 1850 by Robert Fortune, who was a botanist. He worked at the Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh, then for the Royal Horticulture Society in Chiswick. It’s them who sent Mr Fortune to China in 1842 after the Nankin Treaty was signed, to collect plants.

These are the first flowers of our Lonicera fragrantissima in our new hedge. A nice sight, but not yet the fragrant smell promised. Let it develop into winter and with time, so I don’t have to lower myself to the ground in order to sniff around, under the watchfull eye of  le chien, our border collie.

In the corner of my eye, I can see her lean her head onto the right and prop her ears straight as she’s looking at me,

…. and I can read in her eyes : “weird, first time she tries to copy me !”.

Dec 27, 2011

4 comments to Lonicera fragrantissima

  • Mike

    Congratulations on the first flowering bush on our new hedge. I didn’t spot that.

  • It’s very pretty even without the scent. I can just see the dog too! Happy Holidays to you.

  • Hello Celine! That’s a lovely Lonicera and a great addition to your garden 🙂

    I think a Gunnera will be alright in your garden. If you can get a bigger specimen to start with then it would be better. Give it some protection in the winter by folding it’s own leaves to the crown and add some frost fleece to the layer too if it gets very cold.

    • Céline

      thanks a lot for the tip ; now it’s been some time we have thought of a gunnera, especially after visiting Trebah in Cornwall. On their DVD, they show you how to cover the stem with their own leaves for winter. Again, a classic for my lessons because in France, gunneras are not popular at all, and most of my students have never heard of it before I show them the pics of Trebah. We may have to wait for a trip to England to get one, because I have never seen them in garden centres around here. Worth asking again though…

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