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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Oh No! Something Is Eating My Coral Honeysuckle!, W. John Hayden Aug 2014

Oh No! Something Is Eating My Coral Honeysuckle!, W. John Hayden

Biology Faculty Publications

Let’s imagine a situation that could happen in your own backyard. Suppose you have a healthy specimen of 2014’s Virginia Native Plant Society Wildflower of the Year, coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens). Suppose further that this plant rewards you every spring with a flush of flashy red flowers that you treasure all the more because they consistently bring hummingbirds to your yard. Now imagine that one fine morning you notice some little green caterpillars voraciously eating the leaves of your beloved coral honeysuckle. What do you do?


Coral Honeysuckle Easy To Propagate With Cuttings, W. John Hayden Jul 2014

Coral Honeysuckle Easy To Propagate With Cuttings, W. John Hayden

Biology Faculty Publications

One of my earliest botanical/horticultural memories involves time spent with my dad taking cuttings of ornamental plants. Every spring, he would start several dozen new chrysanthemums from carefully overwintered stock plants. He was also fond of long yew hedges that he developed by taking numerous cuttings from just a few original shrubs in our yard. And, from time to time, both my grandmothers would propagate, via cuttings, house plants like geraniums, African violets, and Christmas cacti. But I think it was my dad’s comparatively larger scale operation that fascinated me; with just a little effort, a single shrub ...


Humming Birds: Pollination Facts And Fancy, W. John Hayden Apr 2014

Humming Birds: Pollination Facts And Fancy, W. John Hayden

Biology Faculty Publications

Coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens), the 2014 VNPS Wildflower of the Year, is a classic example of a hummingbird-pollinated flower: bright red petals, often with contrasting yellow tones in the corolla throat, provide visual attraction, drawing hummingbirds to the flowers, where they are rewarded with a rich supply of nectar. Whereas hummingbirds have good color vision, they have a poor sense of smell. So it is not surprising that coral honeysuckle flowers are nearly scentless, at least to the human nose; even modern analytical instruments detect only traces of volatile molecules emanating from them. And open coral honeysuckle flowers, like those ...


Two Honeysuckles: A Tale Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde, W. John Hayden Feb 2014

Two Honeysuckles: A Tale Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde, W. John Hayden

Biology Faculty Publications

There are about 180 species of Lonicera (honeysuckles) widely distributed in the north temperate zone. These are mostly shrubby plants, but in Virginia, we have two species that are woody vines (lianas). These two lianous honeysuckles should be familiar to all Virginia Native Plant Society members. One is this year’s VNPS Wildflower of the Year, Lonicera sempervirens (coral honeysuckle), and the other is Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle), widely and deservedly reviled as one of our most aggressive invasive exotic species. Together, these two plants make an odd pair, a sort of botanical Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. What is ...


2014 Virginia Wildflower Of The Year: Coral Honeysuckle, Lonicera Sempervirens, W. John Hayden Jan 2014

2014 Virginia Wildflower Of The Year: Coral Honeysuckle, Lonicera Sempervirens, W. John Hayden

Biology Faculty Publications

The flashy red flowers of coral honeysuckle beckon hummingbirds to their sweet nectar. Coral honeysuckle is a twining woody vine, usually climbing on other vegetation but sometimes trailing along the ground; older stems have papery-brown exfoliating bark.