Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Lonicera albiflora, Western White Honeysuckle

Western White Honeysuckle has white or cream flowers, rarely pale yellow. The flowers are showy and borne at the ends of short branchlets. Honeysuckle Lonicera albifloraWestern White Honeysuckle flowers have a whorled flowering stem and the flowers are sub-tended by the uppermost pair of leaves. Honeysuckle Lonicera albifloraWestern White Honeysuckle flowers bloom from April to June and from March through May in Texas. The plants fruit from October through November. Honeysuckle Lonicera albifloraTo date, Western White Honeysuckle has few records of insect uses. However the genus Lonicera is known to attract large numbers of butterflies. Here a species of a Painted Lady (Vanessa) butterfly appears to be enjoying a Western White Honeysuckle flower.  Lonicera albiflora Western White Honeysuckle is a trailing shrub or vine. The plants have long graceful stems. The large green leaves are opposite, and the margins are smooth. Lonicera albifloraWestern White Honeysuckle prefers elevations from 3,500 to 6,000 feet (1,066.8 to 1,828.8 m) 
in height and grows along streams and drainages and usually limestone rocky or sandy soils. Lonicera albiflora

Scientific Name: Lonicera albiflora
Common Name: Western White Honeysuckle

Also Called: Bushy Honeysuckle, Honeysuckle, Texas Honeysuckle, White Bush Honeysuckle, White Honeysuckle, White Limestone Honeysuckle, White Shrub Honeysuckle; Spanish (Madreselva)

Family: Caprifoliaceae, Honeysuckle Family

Synonyms: (Lonicera albiflora var. albiflora, Lonicera albiflora var. dumosa, Lonicera dumosa)

Status: Native

Duration: Perennial

Size: 4 to 10 feet tall (1.3 to 3.1 m) and 3 to 9 feet wide (1 to 3 m).

Growth Form: Shrub trailing or vine; plants stems long and graceful, stems mostly woody, brown to gray or whitish and often shredding, the stems are lightly pubescent or glabrous with maturity.

Leaves: Green; opposite, large about 1½ inches long and ¾ inches wide, margins entire, paired, deciduous; leaf shape variable, broadly oval to orbicular to obovate, leaves with short petioles, uppermost leaves sessile and connate-perfoliate, leaves lightly pubescent under-side (abaxial).

Flower Color: White to cream to pale yellow, showy flowers; whorl of flowers single (crowed multiple flowers appear as one); flowers borne at the ends of short branchlets and the flowers are subtended by the uppermost pair of leaves; fruits clusters of red or orange berries.

Flowering Season: April to June, March through May in Texas; fruiting in October through November.

Elevation: 3,500 to 6,000 feet (1,066.8 to 1,828.8 m)

Habitat Preferences: Along streams and drainages; rocky or sandy soils, usually limestone; Texas habitat preferences include: the Blackland Prairie, sandy soils and Cedar Brakes of Central and North-central Texas and Oklahoma, rocky slopes, limestone outcrops and cliffs of New Mexico, Arizona and Mexico are the preferred habitats of white honeysuckle.

Recorded Range: Western White Honeysuckle is found in the southwestern United States in AZ, NM, OK, TX. It is also native to northern and central Mexico.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Lonicera albiflora.

U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.
Wetland Indicator: No information available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No information available.

Genus Information: In North America there are 52 species and 39 accepted taxa overall for Lonicera. Worldwide, The Plant List includes 103 accepted species names and a further 183 scientific names of infraspecific rank for the genus.

In the Southwestern United States: Arizona has 7 species of Lonicera, California has 10 species, Nevada has 4 species, New Mexico has 10 species, Texas has 7 species, Utah has 7 species. All data approximate and subject to revision.

Comments: Western White Honeysuckle is distinctive in the orbicular to obovate shape of the leaves which tightly clasp the stems just before the flowering inflorescence.

Western White Honeysuckle is very similar in appearance to Chaparral Honeysuckle, Lonicera interrupta but has a slightly larger corolla (larger than 15 mm long), and other technical differences pertaining to the leaves and stems.

Importance to Wildlife and Livestock
Lonicera albiflora is said to serve as browse for deer and its red or reddish-orange berries attract birds.

In Southwest Desert Flora also see Arizona Honeysuckle, Lonicera arizonica and Chaparral Honeysuckle, Lonicera interrupta.

Special Value to Native Bees, Butterflies, Birds and Insects
One known species of Lonicera, the Twin-Berry Honeysuckle, Lonicera involucrata, is a larvae host plant to Gillette's Checkerspot caterpillars, Euphydryas gillettii and 22 species of moth, both caterpillars and adults, rely on species of Lonicera for food or nectar.

Additionally according to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas, Austin, TX, Lonicera albiflora is valuable to "Nectar-butterflies, Nectar-bees and Nectar-insects". - find more information about Lonicera and butterfly/moth uses check out BOMONA as well as the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

The genus Lonicera is for Adam Lonitzer (Lonicer, Lonicerus) (1528-1586) a German herbalist, physician and botanist. Lonicera was first published in 1753 by Carl Linnaeus in honor of Adam Lonitzer. The species epithet "albiflora" is from "albi-", and "albo-" meaning white in color and flora meaning flower.

No Information available.
Date Profile Completed: 10/07/2019
Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, Arizona Flora, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California.
Kearney and Peebles 1969, McDougal 1973 via SEINet - (accessed 10/06/2019)
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search - (accessed 10/07/2019)
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 10/07/2019).
Native Plant Information Network, NPIN (2013). Published on the Internet (accessed 10/06/2019). Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas, Austin, TX.
BAMONA; Butterflies and Moths of North America; Collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera; (accessed 10/06/2019).
Aggie-Horticulture, Ornamental Plants White Honeysuckle, Western White Honeysuckle, White Bush Honeysuckle, Bushy Honeysuckle - (accessed: 10/06/2019)
SEINet synonyms, scientific names, geographic locations, general information, (accessed 10/06/2019).
Michael L. Charters; California Plant Names: Latin and Greek Meanings and Derivations; A Dictionary of Botanical and Biographical Etymology; (accessed 10/07/2019)