Lonicera nitida, known as the boxleaf honeysuckle, is native to China and belongs to the Caprifoliaceae family. Other shrubs in this family include viburnum, elderberry and abelia. The appealing foliage of Lonicera nitida makes it a popular choice as a hedge.
The plant genus Lonicera was named in honour of Adam Lonitzer, an herbalist and botanical artist from the 16th century. Lonitzer is noted for his book on herbs, the Kreutterbuch, consisting of 265 pages of illustrations.
The Latin name "nitida" means glossy or shining and describes the small leaves of this species. Lonicera nitida is evergreen and produces subtle white flowers followed by blue-purple fruit in summer. The foliage and bushiness of this plant adds colour and texture to garden borders.
Lonicera nitida thrives in well-drained and moist soil. It also tolerates dry soil and salt spray. This plant is cold hardy to about zero degrees Fahrenheit.
Many cultivars of Lonicera nitida offer different leaf colours. For example, Baggesen's Gold displays golden leaves, Silver Beauty produces leaves with a silver lining and new leaves of the cultivar Red Tips light up the plant with burgundy highlights.
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