Tuesday, 28 February 2012

free honeysuckle

Our native honeysuckle (lonicera perycylemenum) is tremendously useful to wildlife. Its heavily scented flowers are a magnet for a range of insects and its berries are quickly snapped up by birds. It is not as well known that over twenty species of moth use honeysuckle as food for their caterpillars including honeysuckle moth, honeysuckle bell and honeysuckle midget . If we want to provide food for bats, helping moths out seems a good strategy: we want to clothe as many of our native trees in pretty honeysuckle as possible!

In the warm days at the end of summer, I collected the sticky honeysuckle fruits, squeezed the seeds from the juicy flesh, briefly dried them on kitchen towel before placing the towel into a seed tray lined with potting compost. A little more potting compost to cover and then topped with horticultural grit. And waited.


I'm pleased to report that the method worked. This week I potted on our first baby honeysuckle plants. A tray of seedlings awaits.

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