Close-up of the showy yellow flower of Black Twinberry (Lonicera involucra). One of 100+ species of Pacific Northwest native plants available at Sparrowhawk Native Plants, Native Plant Nursery in Portland, Oregon.
Black Twinberry (Lonicera involucra) leaves and showy yellow flowers arranged ornamentally along the red stem. One of 100+ species of Pacific Northwest native plants available at Sparrowhawk Native Plants, Native Plant Nursery in Portland, Oregon.
A bumble bee forages on the showy yellow flower of Black Twinberry (Lonicera involucra). One of 100+ species of Pacific Northwest native plants available at Sparrowhawk Native Plants, Native Plant Nursery in Portland, Oregon.
Black Twinberry (Lonicera involucra) leaves, yellow flowers, and black berries. One of 100+ species of Pacific Northwest native plants available at Sparrowhawk Native Plants, Native Plant Nursery in Portland, Oregon.
Close-up of the showy black berries of Black Twinberry (Lonicera involucra). One of 100+ species of Pacific Northwest native plants available at Sparrowhawk Native Plants, Native Plant Nursery in Portland, Oregon.
A Cedar Waxwing eating the berries of the Lonicera involucrata, Black Twinberry shrub. Another stunning Northwest Native Plant available at Sparrowhawk Native Plants Nursery in Portland, Oregon
Growth habitat of mature Black Twinberry shrub (Lonicera involucra). One of 100+ species of Pacific Northwest native plants available at Sparrowhawk Native Plants, Native Plant Nursery in Portland, Oregon.

Black Twinberry

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Lonicera involucrata

Black Twinberry is a member of the Honeysuckle family, forming a beautifully arching tall and wide upright shrub. Seemingly thousands of pairs of yellow, tubular flowers emerge in April and continue blooming all summer long, providing nectar to countless species of insect pollinators and making it a magnet for hummingbirds. As the season progresses, the flowers become encased in showy red bracts that eventually hold it’s shiny black, “twin” berries, the namesake of this lovely garden shrub. 

  • Plant type/canopy layer: deciduous, perennial, large shrub 
  • Size at maturity: 5-8' tall, 2-8' wide
  • Light requirements: full sun, part sun / part shade
  • Moisture requirements: moist to wet soil
  • Bloom time: March - August
  • Growth rate/ease: fast growing, easy to grow
  • Wildlife support: favored nectar source for hummingbirds, adult butterflies, bees, and other insect pollinators, supports and attracts beneficial and other pest eating insects, caterpillar host plant/larval food source, berries are eaten by many species of resident and migratory birds
  • Native habitat/range: Locally common in meadows, forest edges, bogs, fens and wetlands across much of south western Canada and all of WA and OR and south into CA. Portland Plant List - yes. 
  • Special features & uses: pollinator gardens and raingardens, great for erosion control and hedgerows, supports hummingbirds

Gardening with Black Twinberry: This fast growing shrub is carefree when planted in the right place. Be sure to give it a part to full sun location with moist soil, such as a sunny raingarden. It can even tolerate seasonal flooding. Since it is adored by hummingbirds, place it in an area where it can be viewed from a window to enjoy entertainment all summer long.  

Photo Credits 1-5 & 7: Nikkie West

Photo Credit 6: Photo Credit 2: "Kayaking, looking for the beaver found cedar waxwings feeding on the lonicera involucrata... black twinberry." by island deborah- New Book 'Song of the Sparrow' vig is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0