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honeysuckle, common name for some members of the Caprifoliaceae, a family comprised mostly of vines and shrubs of the Northern Hemisphere, especially abundant in E Asia and E North America. The family includes the elders, viburnums, weigelas, and snowberries as well as the honeysuckles; many are hardy plants that are sometimes cultivated as ornamentals. One of the best-known North American species of the true honeysuckles (genus Lonicera) is the trumpet honeysuckle (L. sempervirens), an evergreen plant with fragrant, trumpet-shaped scarlet blossoms. The Japanese honeysuckle (L. japonica), with small white to yellow flowers, is naturalized in the United States and has become a ubiquitous and noxious weed, strangling the living plants on which it climbs. Woodbine, a name for several European vines, is most often L. periclymenum, also called eglantine. Bush honeysuckles are of the genus Diervilla. Some plants of other families are also called honeysuckle, e.g., the swamp and purple honeysuckles of the heath family. Sambucus (elder or elderberry) and Viburnum are shrubs and trees usually having showy flat-topped clusters of white flowers. The fruits of some species are edible, e.g., those of the common North American elder (S. canadensis), used in preserves, pies, and wine. The European elder (S. nigra) and the “Spirit of the Elder” have figured prominently in folklore of N Europe. Among the better known viburnums (also having edible berries) are the black haw, or stagbush (V. prunifolium), of E North America; the straggling-branched hobblebush, or wayfaring tree (V. alnifolium in America, V. lantana in the Old World); and the high-bush cranberry, or cranberry tree (V. opulus; the American plants are sometimes designated as V. trilobum). The snowball, or guelder-rose, is a cultivated variety of the cranberry tree in which the rounded blossom–clusters are composed of large sterile flowers. Arrowwood (V. dentatum and similar species) was formerly used for making arrows. The waxy-fruited snowberries are species of the genus Symphoricarpos. Weigela (or weigelia), shrubs of the E Asian genus Weigela, are sometimes cultivated elsewhere for their funnel-shaped blossoms. Twinflower (Linnaea borealis), unusual for this family in that it is herbaceous, was the favorite flower of Linnaeus. Honeysuckle is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Dipsacales, family Caprifoliaceae.

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a genus of mainly deciduous shrubs or small trees of the family Caprifoliaceae. The leaves are opposite; they are either entire or lobed. The flowers, which are white or pink, are gathered into an umbel, corymb, or panicle. The marginal flowers are sterile and often larger than the rest. The fruit is a drupe, which is used for food. The bark contains tannins, resin, and several acids. The wood is used in the manufacture of small articles. There are approximately 120-200 species in Europe, Asia, North Africa, and North, Central, and South America. In the USSR there are eight species. The most important of these is the European cranberrybush (Viburnum opulus), which is found in the forests of European USSR, the Caucasus, Western Siberia, and Middle Asia. It is cultivated as an ornamental throughout the European USSR, where it is known as buV-denezh. The bark of the trunk and branches yield a liquid ex-tract, which is gathered in the early spring and dried. It is used medically as a hemostatic (mainly in uterine hemorrhages). The species V. orienta lis, which has fruiting marginal blossoms, grows in the Caucasus. The species V. burejaeticum and V. sar-genta are found in the Far East. The wayfaring tree also belongs to the genus Viburnum.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. any of various temperate and subtropical caprifoliaceous shrubs or trees of the genus Viburnum, such as the wayfaring tree, having small white flowers and berry-like red or black fruits
2. the dried bark of several species of this tree, sometimes used in medicine
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Blackhaw viburnum has a twiggy growth that reaches heights of up to 15 feet with a 12-foot spread.
Dogwood, viburnum and redvein enkianthus all prefer a spot in full sun, although they can also tolerate partial shade.
Other varieties include Viburnum tinus, the popular evergreen 'snowball' that flowers with white umbels (flower cluster) and later produces steelblue berries, while Viburnum x burkwoodii and V.
If you don't particularly want an evergreen hedge, you have a lot more flower opportunities among the deciduous plants such as scented Viburnum Farreri and roses like Roseraie de l'Hay, Spiraea and Weigelas.
Three other Viburnum that deserve mention although they may not be as readily available and have not been widely tested are Sargent's viburnum and two quite different species that somewhat confusingly share the same common name of arrowwood.
The best of the spring crop is Viburnum plicatum Mariesii.
They're adding a new viburnum cultivar to the list of award winners that have been bred at the U.S.
The Viburnum Foundation, a family foundation based in New York, is currently in the fifth year of giving grants to rural library-sponsored family literacy programs in Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Some scents such as wintersweet may fade by the end of February, but others such as viburnum will continue into March., a consumer initiative of the Council of Holland, offers the following tips: 1 VIBURNUM VIBURNUMS come in all shapes and sizes, both deciduous and evergreen, and most are easy to grow, and thrive in sun or semi-shade.
Few shrubs give such pleasure during the cold winter months as Viburnum bodnantense Dawn.