Utah Honeysuckle
Lonicera utahensis S. Wats.
Family: Caprifoliaceae, Honeysuckle
Genus: Lonicera
Synonyms:
Other names:
Nomenclature: utahensis = from Utah
Nativity / Invasiveness: Montana native plant
Edible plant
Medicinal plant
Description

General: shrub mostly 1-2 m tall.

Leaves: opposite, short-stalked, elliptic to somewhat ovate or oblong, sometimes almost cordate at the base, broadly rounded at the summit, mostly 2-8 cm long and 1-4 cm wide, or some of them smaller, hairless above, hairless or often stiff-hairy beneath.

Flowers: nodding, in pairs from leaf axils on main stalks 5-15 mm long, up to 35 mm in fruit, bearing at the summit a pair of minute bracts 1-3 mm long. Corolla ochroleucous or light yellow, 1-2 cm long, the 5 slightly unequal lobes much shorter than the funnel-shaped tube, which is hairy within and bears a short, thick spur at the base. Style and stamens hairless. Ovaries 2-celled, spreading, united at the base when young, firmly so when mature. May-July.

Fruits: berries, almost round, about 1 cm thick or a little less, bright red, in pairs, and joined at the base, spreading apart almost opposite each other.


Distribution

Moist, wooded or open slopes at moderate to rather high elevations in the mountains, in w. and c. parts of MT. Also from s. B.C. and Alberta to n. CA, WY and UT.
Edible Uses

The fruits of Utah honeysuckle are edible raw or cooked. They are juicy and were used for food by the Okanagan-Colville Indians among others.



Medicinal Uses

An infusion of branches has been taken as a mild laxative. An infusion of the branches and leaves has been used as a wash on sores and infections.


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