The honeysuckle flower is a family of climbing plants and flowering shrubs. Although other types of flowers – such as the azalea and columbine – are sometimes called honeysuckles, only the group of 180 species in the lonicera genus are considered true honeysuckle flowers. This plant, which is a member of the caprifoliaceae family, is native to many regions of the Northern Hemisphere; however, the majority of species can be seen blooming both wild and in gardens all throughout China. The leaves of the honeysuckle flower are opposite and rounded, and may be either evergreen or deciduous. The flowers themselves are set in a distinctive bell shape, and bloom in dual shades – from scarlet red on the outside and bright orange on the inside, to white tinged with a rosy pink. One characteristic feature of this flower is its fruit, which adds an extra dash of bright color to its appearance.
The honeysuckle flower – whose scientific name is derived from the well known Renaissance botanist, Adam Lonicer – has made its mark in popular culture. One such example is a painting by the famous artist Peter Paul Rubens. This painting, entitled “Honeysuckle Bower,” is a double portrait of himself and his new wife sitting under the shelter of a blossoming honeysuckle shrub. More modern artists, such as Joni Johnson-Godsy and Poppy Melia, have also depicted this striking flower in a variety of forms. As well as being noted in fine art, the honeysuckle flower has become the inspiration for a good deal of films, music and literary art. Honeysuckles have appeared in stories and poetry from writers such as William Faulkner, Marie de France and Robert Frost. In addition to being a cultural icon of sorts, the honeysuckle is also considered highly effective in herbal cures and cosmetic treatments. Honeysuckle extracts are frequently used in perfumes, face creams and occasionally even toothpaste. As a curative, this blossom is considered very effective for respiratory issues, clearing the body of toxins and reducing fevers.
One of the honeysuckle’s most prominent symbols is the bond of love. This flower has long been associated with not only love, but devotion and generosity. These blossoms are sometimes given as an alternative to the more common flowers, and are often presented to the recipient on Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, as wedding gifts, or even simple tokens of affection. As well as giving this plant in an arrangement, bouquet or pot, you can also place them in a gift basket featuring other honeysuckle-related items, such as teas, perfumes and soaps.