When I think of honeysuckle the first thing that comes to mind is the sweet scent that wafts from the plant especially on a warm evening. Honeysuckle features widely in folklore and herbal medicine. Bringing it into the house is said influence weddings and unfortunate dreams in young girls. Growing it outside the front door is supposed to deter witches. The plant is also used in Chinese medicine. This and more I discovered from an article by Melody Rose which I found over on Dave’s Garden website.
Sometimes nostalgia overcomes misgivings about a plant, for those of us in the South, honeysuckle is both a blessing and a curse.
Memories of long summer evenings and going to bed while it was still light are something many of my generation remember. With the katydids singing and lightning bugs flashing their fiery dance across the lawns and pastures, these memories take us back to that time in our lives. We slept with the windows open and the scent of honeysuckle soothed us as we drifted off to sleep.
Honeysuckle was also a part of our days. Kids played wherever they wanted and often roamed far across creeks and fields. If you had a pony or horse, you could roam even further. Many of us remember coming upon a thicket of honeysuckle and pulling the blossoms to sip that tiny drop of sweet nectar from the end. There was never more than the smallest drop, but the mere fact that you knew it was there gave you a smug sense of knowledge that you could ‘live off the land.’ In fact, the name ‘honey-suckle’ is an apt description of this practice. We never dreamed that this plant was an alien invader wrecking havoc in our pastures and fencerows.
honeysuckleLonicera japonica was introduced from Asia during the 1800’s in many countries around the world. It was touted as an ornamental ground-cover and a source for cattle fodder. This highly adaptable plant quickly escaped into the wild via the round black seeds that birds found tasty.
See more at Dave’s Garden