What type of honeysuckle is this?

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What type of honeysuckle is this?

Post  TKR12 on Fri Jun 10, 2016 7:27 pm

Separate Q here for this.  I bought this last year as I love honeysuckles and this one was labelled suitable for bonsai so figured why not.  But I've no idea what species it is - I assumed (when it wasn't in flower) that it was maybe a nitida but the leaf structure isn't right.  Any ideas?






Apologies - as often happens on Forums - only now read the instructions so extra pics added on Smile


Last edited by TKR12 on Sun Jun 12, 2016 4:25 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Photo additions)

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Re: What type of honeysuckle is this?

Post  David Brunner on Sun Jun 12, 2016 4:16 am

Take a peak at photos of Lonicera morrowii, from your photo that what it looks like to me, but Loniceras are difficult from photos.  You should also look at Lonicera tatarica.  They are similar in appearance (well at least the pale flowered L. tartarica), but the leaves of L. tatarica have a tendency to be a bit bullate - sort of bulging between the veins.  

Perhaps this is helpful.

David B.

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Thanks

Post  TKR12 on Sun Jun 12, 2016 4:03 pm

Hi David
Thanks for that - of those 2 I'd certainly lean towards the Morrow one but unsure how prevalent it is in the UK? It appears to be a primaily US species although I appreciate plants are no longer tied to any one country these amazing days Very Happy . Any ideas on how best to cultivate it for a bonsai specimen at this early stage - let it grow on for another couple of yrs, or prune the life out of it now before it starts preparing for next year's flowers? It's currently in a 15 cm pot (roughly 8-10 inch) I think (too lazy to go outside to check LOL!),

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Re: What type of honeysuckle is this?

Post  David Brunner on Mon Jun 13, 2016 1:39 am

Well your question regarding what to do next really makes me feel the recent loss of our longtime colleague on this site, Jim Lewis.  He was the master of "what to do next" - and he doled out his advise with a sprinkle of humor, a dollop of surprise and a surfeit of good humor and wisdom.  We all miss him!  I shall not succeed to succeed - nor shall I try.

All that having been said, I don't think your Lonicera is ready for bonsai treatment unless you intend a very slender literati profile, and even that I don't think will be notably successful.  It needs more girth in the trunk.  This can only come with planting it in the ground for a number of years.  One of the pleasures and pains of bonsai is that it is a pursuit of years.  Quick results are rarely lasting or pleasing.

I hope I have not offended!
David B.

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Re: What type of honeysuckle is this?

Post  fiona on Mon Jun 13, 2016 3:00 pm

Is it scented and did it flower between January and now?

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Re: What type of honeysuckle is this?

Post  TKR12 on Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:55 pm

Hmm - I'd replied to this earlier but it seems to have disappeared into the ether somehow Sad

David - I was basically saying that you haven't come close to offending in any way as you've provided the info I'm aware of (planting out) - however, I'm not in a position to do that as I only have a town yard & thus am downsizing all my shrubs. I might be able to manage a slightly larger pot but am wary in case I then can't unpot it when the time comes as I'm disabled with severe hand arthritis hence can't manage large pots etc anyway but stupidly got obsessed last year in buying starter bonsai shrubs and in particular flowering ones.  

I'm never going to be able to be a bonsai purist in any sense, so am basically just aiming to have "wee trees" which I can enjoy that will mostly reside in bonsai pots & some might actually come close to being the real thing eventually Smile.

Fiona -This flowered prolifically in April and flowers lasted about 6 wks or so.

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Re: What type of honeysuckle is this?

Post  Anitasfarm on Tue Jun 14, 2016 8:35 pm

Hi, I'll second David's vote for L. morrowii here; tatarica nearly always has pinkish flowers, at least in the bud, and they don't yellow with age. L. maackii has much pointier leaf tips than what yours is showing. While I don't know about any of those species in the UK specifically, they're Asian originally and only showing up on US websites in your searches because they're invasive exotics (alas, our USDA in its wisdom promoted and distributed them some decades ago, and now they're everywhere!).

We (Craig and I) have a number of them as bonsai, wild-collected from a friend's farm fencelines. In fact we met over one of those trees, so I do have a soft spot for them Wink They are in fact rather difficult bonsai material, though, as a hard cut-back tends to result in dieback and unpredictable lower resprouting, so you're always rebuilding the structure. Of course, it's this die-back-and-reroute that makes the interesting trunk bases (blueberries, Vaccinium sp. do likewise)... sigh.

This wouldn't be my first choice if searching for bonsai material in the Lonicera family, but since you've got it, why not give it a go? (another caution - very very brittle, prefer clip-n-grow over wiring). You do have the beginnings of a nice root spread at the base.

best wishes,
Anita

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Re: What type of honeysuckle is this?

Post  TKR12 on Tue Jun 14, 2016 9:11 pm

Good to know. I wasn't sure about the Morrow's variety being easily available in the UK but it certainly looks like the right species flower wise. Smile

Right - taking all of that into consideration I think I might take one of the 2 "arms" down to 3 or 4 leaves and just see what happens to it - ultimately if it shows good growth then I'll be happier trying the same on the other side eventually, but in the meantime will leave it to grow on in the hope it might fatten up a bit more.

Nothing ventured nothing gained, and it was somewhat of a wildcard option anyway, so not the end of the world if it doesn't come together as a bonsai in any sense - it'll be a lovely bush hopefully at some point if I do have to just leave it alone. I was so impressed by the intensive flowering after just one year - I have a Belgica growing in a tub that doesn't flower anywhere close to that prolifically!!.

Thanks for all your input everyone - much appreciated. Very Happy

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Re: What type of honeysuckle is this?

Post  Anitasfarm on Tue Jun 14, 2016 9:22 pm

Excellent, let us know how it goes! Here's an earlier post on morrowii from the IBC, including a very handsome specimen by Doug, whose tree came from Blooming Grove, likely from a collecting trip with my husband Craig while we were living there.
http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t2795-lonicera-updates
-Anita

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Re: What type of honeysuckle is this?

Post  David Brunner on Fri Jun 17, 2016 12:57 am

Given your situation I fully support Anita's recommendation of "clip and grow." Actually I love clip and grow! It takes a very long time to make something nice, but it provides lots of intimate involvement with the tree. And for me, that was why I got involved with bonsai - I liked cultivating plants. I was not (am not) too much interested in winning prizes or impressing others.

As Anita says Loniceras are very brittle so wiring is difficult, but they are very fast growers, so clip and grow could be very satisfying. It is very unlikely that you will be able to develop a "show worthy" trunk. But if you don't covet ribbons, who cares! I know I don't. It should first be about fun. And I hope you do have fun!

Please let us know how things go and share a few pictures!

David B.

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Re: What type of honeysuckle is this?

Post  TKR12 on Fri Jun 17, 2016 2:43 pm

Thanks David - will do. I've noticed it's more than happy to bud back well and fast too so should be capable of scaling down regardless of whether to a bonsai specimen or not so I'll be happy enough, Smile

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Re: What type of honeysuckle is this?

Post  DreadyKGB on Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:21 pm

So, I have a few of these collected from family property also. I totally agree with the issues related to the species. They do arbitrarily die back sometimes, but they grow very fast and create great meandering live veins. I've found that they need lots of watering and the first set of spring growth is usually very strong and course. You will see that some strong shoots will grow straight upward and grow crazy fast, these should be removed when the tree is in a more refined phase. They can also take a severe root pruning easily, The post that Anita linked is mine and I removed all roots (almost flat cut) and it bounced right back within a season.

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Re: What type of honeysuckle is this?

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