Spiny Honeysuckle
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Spiny Honeysuckle
ative Photo: Narendra Joshi
Common name: Spiny Honeysuckle
Botanical name: Lonicera spinosa    Family: Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle family)
Synonyms: Xylosteon spinosum

Spiny Honeysuckle is a dwarf shrub, up to 2 ft tall, deciduous, often with spinelike, leafless branchlets. Bark is splitting. Branches have solid pith. Leaves are opposite, carried on 1 mm long stalks. They are linear to oblong, 0.4-1.5 cm long, 1-2 mm wide, hairless, base broadly wedge-shaped to rounded, margin revolute, tip blunt. Paired flowers are fragrant, axillary at bases of lateral young branches. Bracts are leaflike, longer than ovary, bracteoles cupular, more than 1/2 as long as ovary. Sepal is cup-like, about 1.5 mm, sepals ovate, blunt. Flowers are purplish red, later white, tubular-funnelshaped. Tube is about 1 cm, slender, petals spreading, ovate-oblong, about 4 mm. Stamens inserted at mouth of flowers, anthers protruding. Style protruding. Berry is pale violet to white, ellipsoid, about 5 mm. Spiny Honeysuckle is found in the Himalayas, from Kashmir to Sikkim and Tibet, at altitudes of 3600-4600 m. Flowering: June-July.

Identification credit: Narendra Joshi Photographed in Panamik, Nubra Valley, Ladakh

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