Lonicera xylosteum - Fly Honeysuckle
Family: Caprifoliaceae

Hear the scientific name

Lonicera xylosteum is a tough, utilitarian shrub known for emerging and mature gray-green foliage, compact rounded habit of some cultivars, and urban and salt spray tolerance.

F   E   A   T   U   R   E   S
  form2 form Form

-medium shrub

-to 8' tall x 8' wide but frequently pruned much smaller

-radiating mound

-slow to medium rate






-short petiole

-one of the earliest shrubs to leaf out

-buds and young foliage emerging with silvery hairs and remaining pubescent

-green tinged with purple


-white to cream

-May and effective for 2 weeks

-flowers borne upright with 4 per node

-not as showy as other Honeysuckles but still quite an asset


-virtually no fruit set


-tan to white-brown

-winter buds extend out at a 45 degree angle

-rather stout, zigzag, and slightly rough


-not applicable

C   U   L   T   U   R   E


-full sun to partial shade

-urban tolerant and very adaptable, especially to poor soils, soil pHs, restricted root zones, drought, salt spray, and heavy pruning, but is not tolerant of wet sites or poorly drained sites

-propagated primarily by rooted stem cuttings

-Honeysuckle Family, with virtually no disease or pest problems

-low availability, in containers or B&B form


-zones 4 to 6


-native to Europe

U   S   A   G   E


-densely rounded habit

-foliage emerging gray-green to silvery-green

-urban tolerant, including exceptional salt spray and drought tolerance

-spring flowers

-low maintenance plant


-poor autumn color (but holds green foliage late)

-some of the "compact" cultivars can eventually get quite spreading and tall if left unpruned


-informal or formal hedge

-border, entranceway, low screen, or specimen shrub

-parking lot or street island small shrub

-can be a facer shrub if kept pruned


-medium texture in foliage and when bare

-thick density in foliage and when bare

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Varieties and Cultivars - Search OSU PlantFacts for additional plants in this species


-shrubs for urban stress situations (species of Berberis, Forsythia, Lonicera, Viburnum, Weigela, etc.)

-shrubs with a tight growth habit that grow slowly (Berberis 'Crimson Pygmy', Buxus hybrids, Fothergilla gardenii, Picea abies [shrub forms], Viburnum plicatum var. tomentosum 'Newport' [Nanum Newport'], etc.)

-winter salt-spray-tolerant companion plants (Hemerocallis, Myrica pensylvanica, Pinus nigra, etc.)


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