Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Coral honeysuckle

with 25 comments

This one speaks English, not Japanese. Yes, the common white-flowered and sweet-scented honeysuckle that grows all over the United States and Canada is originally from Japan, but Lonicera sempervirens, called coral honeysuckle, grows from Texas to Quebec, as you can confirm at the USDA website. (I assume it also speaks French in Quebec.)

Coral honeysuckle is clearly red, and a comparison to the blossoms of the redbud tree in the background proves—as if any proof were needed—that the flowers of the redbud tree are a pinkish-violet. This photograph comes from the same March 2 session along Great Northern Blvd. in north-central Austin that has already brought you a picture in which a blossoming redbud tree played the starring role. This time, in order to have the non-red redbud appear as a backdrop to the red honeysuckle, I had to thread my way through some greenbriers and some stalks of poison ivy that were just beginning to leaf out, then get down low and aim upward at perhaps 60°. Intrepid me.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 13, 2012 at 5:38 AM

25 Responses

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  1. And a perfect angle it is. Love the background again too.


    March 13, 2012 at 5:58 AM

    • For a math teacher, a 60° angle has lots of familiar associations (for example, its cosine is one-half). As for photography, you may have heard me say that there are times when I think the three most important things are background, background, and background.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 13, 2012 at 6:16 AM

  2. Such a thrill seeker, and aren’t we glad for it! The color is vivid with a hint of transparency on those flared petals. These are destined for my back fence once I finally get the Japanese honeysuckle and English ivy killed off. It is rampant in my neighbors back forty here. ~ Lynda
    (PS: I see evidence that my baby Redbuds are going to bloom! 😉 )


    March 13, 2012 at 6:00 AM

    • I could have done without those two thrills, but then this picture wouldn’t exist. I hope coral honeysuckle works well on your back fence—if you can get those two invasives to stop invading. Happy redbud spring in Alabama. Austin has shifted from premature spring to full and by now normal spring, with plenty of species of wildflowers appearing, and some even in small colonies already rather than isolated occurrences.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 13, 2012 at 6:22 AM

  3. I rescued one from our old house and brought it with me. It is very happy clinging to the barn so much so that it has one group of flowers about to bloom and no green leaves! It is indeed a strange weather year.

    Bonnie Michelle

    March 13, 2012 at 6:46 AM

    • A successful rescue. And this year the warm weather is working in favor of wildflowers, yours and ours

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 13, 2012 at 6:59 AM

  4. Great photo. Love the angle and the background.
    We have coral honeysuckle up against a shed. Last year it was devastated by the drought and the deer who took a bite every time they walked by. It came back strong this year and has blossoms.

    Bill Hopkins

    March 13, 2012 at 8:01 AM

    • It’s good that your coral honeysuckle has recovered. The one on my picture was in the same place last year at this time, which is why I went looking for it again there this year. Whether it was affected later in 2011 by the drought, I don’t know.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 13, 2012 at 8:21 AM

  5. From the USDA website, it is an introduced species to Canada (Ontario & Quebec). So, I guess it is only native to the eastern side of the US. We’ll stick with our northern bush honeysuckles (Diervilla lonicera) and leave this species in the states.

    The Local Scoop

    March 13, 2012 at 8:03 AM

    • Sorry I hadn’t noticed that it’s an introduced species in Canada; I guess that means French with an American accent. At least you do have a native species to enjoy.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 13, 2012 at 8:23 AM

  6. Hi Steve .. stunning and I so love that coral colour .. just superb. Cheers Hilary


    March 13, 2012 at 8:21 AM

  7. Beautiful – love honeysuckle – mine is white/yellow:)


    March 13, 2012 at 10:28 AM

  8. You know what you do, Steve, you make Texas beauty something universal for everybody to enjoy. Thanks for the wonderful reminders of my homeland. A left you an award at http://snowschuler11.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/who-me/


    March 13, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    • Thanks for those words, Dave. If I can make the local universal, then I’ve accomplished something.

      Congratulations on being chosen for the Versatile Blogger Award, which means that people appreciate what you’re doing. And I appreciate your thinking of me, but after this first came up half a year ago I decided that my posts and people’s comments about them were reward enough. Thanks again.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 13, 2012 at 4:01 PM

  9. The colours are like jewels.

  10. My grandmother had a honeysuckle tree with orange red flowers. Wish I had one like that! Yours is very beautiful. Thanks for bringing back a fond memory for me; if you have a picture of the one I describe I would love to see it! 🙂

    Sheila T Illustrated

    March 14, 2012 at 8:29 PM

    • Because our native coral honeysuckle grows only as a slender vine, I looked on the Internet to see if I could find what your grandmother’s honeysuckle tree might be. I’m afraid there are various things that people call a honeysuckle tree. You might want to search too to see if any of the pictures online match what you remember.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 14, 2012 at 8:48 PM

  11. I like the bokeh.


    March 18, 2012 at 12:50 PM

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