Lonicera periclymenum Belgica, early flowering Dutch honeysuckle, is a wonderful climber with heavily scented flowers that turn from red and apricot when young to yellow as they age. It is typified by very strong twining bushy growth and fresh dark green foliage. The individual flowers are trumpet shaped and held in groups forming a large circular flower head.
It prefers to have its roots moist but is happy in most soils as long as it has good drainage. It only needs pruning to keep it within bounds and to remove old, dead and dying growth. It provides nectar for bees, butterflies and ladybirds and berries in autumn for hungry birds.
Lonicera 'Belgica' has strong bushy growth, is easy to grow in any soil and will be happy in full sun or partial shade. It is perfect for scrambling over low walls, climbing into trees or into an arch or pergola and it should be sited where the scent can be enjoyed.
It does not need pruning but can be kept in check by trimming when flowering has finished. It can also be grown in a pot and trained into a formal shape by means of a frame - ideal for bringing some scent to a small garden. It is best in an informal or cottage garden situation.
Lonicera 'Belgica' may be susceptible to mildew and aphids but it rarely causes a severe problem. Because of the plants attraction for insects and bees it is inadvisable to use chemical sprays.
Lonicera periclymenum 'Belgica' was named in honour of a famous German botanist called Adam Lonicer (1528-1586). Periclymenum translates as 'twist around' referring to the twining habit of the stems.