Perennial woody vine Stem: hairless. Leaves: opposite, with a waxy coating (glaucous) above. The lower broadly oval, stalkless, 4 - 8 cm long, and blunt to notched. The uppermost two to four pairs of leaves are fused into a glaucous, almost orbicular disk. Flowers: borne in clusters (spikes) at branch tips. Spikes with two to four whorls of flowers. Calyx short, five-lobed. Corolla strongly two-lipped, pale yellow, 2 - 3 cm long, tubular, five-lobed, hairy inside. Corolla tube nearly equaling lips. Stamens five. Style hairy. Fruit: a few-seeded berry, in clusters, red, rounded.
Similar species: Lonicera x heckrottii and L. sempervirens are similar but their corollas grow over 3 cm long. Lonicera dioica differs by having reddish flowers and non-glaucous upper leaves bearing pointed, not rounded, tips.
Flowering: late May to early July
Habitat and ecology: A common sprawling and clambering honeysuckle of moist woods and thickets, often found in calcareous soils.
Occurence in the Chicago region: native
Etymology: Lonicera is named after Adam Lonicer (1528-1586), a German botanist and author. Prolifera means "producing side shoots in order to increase."
Woody climber with glabrous stems; lvs glaucous beneath, the lower broadly oval, sessile or nearly so, 4-8 cm, obtuse to emarginate, the upper 2-4 pairs ±connate, the uppermost forming a suborbicular disk rounded or retuse at the ends and glaucous above; spike short-peduncled; cor pale yellow, 2-3 cm, gibbous at the base, hairy inside, the lips scarcely as long as the tube; style hairy; 2n=18. Moist woods and thickets. May, June. Var. prolifera, occurring from c. N.Y. to Wis. and Ill., has the lvs thinly villous beneath. Var. glabra Gleason, of s. Mo. and Ark., has the lvs glabrous. (L. sullivantii)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.