Caprifoliaceae are perennial and mostly woody plants that include vines, shrubs, and small trees. The family contains about a dozen genera and perhaps 400 species, of wide distribution, chiefly in the North temperate zone, or of mountainous areas in the tropics. The flowers have a 4- or 5-lobed calyx, which is usually small, and a 4- or 5-lobed corolla which often forms a substantial tube. The lobes may be equal, or formed into two lips with 4 lobes for the upper lip, and 1 large lobe for the lower lip. The 4 or 5 stamens attach to the tube, alternating with the lobes, with the fruiting portion of the pistil below where the calyx and corolla lobes originate. The fruit, usually a fleshy berry, has 2 to 5 seed-forming divisions. The leaves are opposite and broad and being either entire or having several lobes or leaflets. The leaves sometimes join together to form a disc around the stem (as in the honeysuckles).
Guide to Identify Presented Species of the Honeysuckle Family
Linnaea borealis Twinflower Evergreen plant, 3-10 cm tall. Shaded and mossy sites, foothills-subalpine.
Flowers pink to nearly white, 6-15 mm long, nodding, in pairs on slender stalks.
Leaves opposite, evergreen, broadly egg-shaped, 1-2 cm long.
SHRUBS WITH PINNATELY DIVIDED LEAVES
Sambucus cerulea Blue Elderberry Shrub 2-4 m tall, strong-smelling. Streams, rocky slopes, foothills-montane.
Flowers white, 3-6 mm wide, numerous in dense, flat-topped clusters, smelly.
Leaves opposite, pinnately divided into 7-9 leaflets, lance-shaped, sharp-toothed.
SHRUBS WITH ENTIRE LEAVES. FLOWERS TRUMPET-SHAPED OR IRREGULAR
Lonicera utahensis Utah Honeysuckle Shrub 1-2 m tall. Moist, wooded or open slopes in the mountains.
Flowers nodding, light yellow, funnel-shaped, 1-2 cm long, in pairs. Berries red.
Leaves opposite, broadly elliptic to oval, 2-8 cm long, broadly rounded.
SHRUBS WITH ENTIRE LEAVES. FLOWERS BELL-SHAPED, REGULAR
Symphoricarpos occidentalis Western Snowberry Shrub 50-100 cm tall. Well-drained, open or wooded sites, plains to montane.
Flowers whitish, broadly funnel-shaped, 7-10 mm wide, lobes longer than corolla.
Leaves opposite, broadly elliptic to oval, 3-8 cm long, slightly wavy-edged.
Alphabetical listing with links to presented species of the Honeysuckle family: