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Lonicera involucrata

Lonicera involucrata. (Twinberry).  Synonym: Distegia involucrata.
Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle Family)

Montane, subalpine. Woodlands. Spring, summer.
Ryman Creek Trail, June 8, 2000.

The Twinberry shrub is common, colorful, and distinctive.  Its paired drooping yellow tube flowers are shielded by maroon bracts which grow deep red as the flower fades and the intensely black and shiny berries mature.  The bush commonly is 3-6 feet tall and wide but can be as tall as 9 feet.  Leaves are two to three inches long. The berries are temptingly black and juicy but they are also intensely bitter and perhaps poisonous.

"Lonicera" honors German physician and herbalist, Adam Lonicer (1528-1586).  (Click to read more biographical information about Lonicer.)

The Greek "di" (two) and "stegos" (roof) give rise to the synonym genus name and refer to the two bracts sheltering the flowers and berries. "Involucrata" is Latin for "wrapper", thus the common botanical term "involucre", the whorl of bracts below a flower.

The Distegia genus was named by Rafinesque in 1838; Linnaeus named the Lonicera genus in 1753 for the German botanist Adam Lonitzer, 1528-1585.

John Richardson found the species in west-central Canada on the Franklin Expedition of 1819-1822 and named the species Zylosteum involucratum in 1823. The species was renamed Lonicera involucrata by Joseph Banks in 1825, had several other names tried, and was named Distegia involucrata by Cockerell in 1905.

Lonicera involucrata

Lonicera involucrata. (Twinberry).  Synonym: Distegia involucrata.
Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle Family)

Montane, subalpine. Woodlands. Spring, summer.
Ryman Creek Trail, July 16, 2010.

Lonicera involucrata

Lonicera involucrata. (Twinberry).  Synonym: Distegia involucrata.
Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle Family)

Montane, subalpine. Woodlands. Spring, summer.
Lizard Head Trail, July 11, 2008.

Lonicera involucrata

Lonicera involucrata. (Twinberry).  Synonym: Distegia involucrata.
Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle Family)

Montane, subalpine. Woodlands. Spring, summer.
Burro Bridge Trail, July 6, 2007.

Lonicera involucrata

Lonicera involucrata

Lonicera involucrata. (Twinberry).  Synonym: Distegia involucrata.
Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle Family)

Montane, subalpine. Woodlands. Spring, summer.
Opal Lake Trail, July 10, 2010 and Lake Hope Trail, August 7, 2005.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Lonicera involucrata