Goldnet or Yellow-net
"Come, my Matilda, now while some
Few drops of rain are yet to come,
In this honeysuckle bower
Safely sheltered from the shower,
We may count the colours o'er. --
Seven there are, there are no more."
The scented yellow summer flowers of this honeysuckle vine are very pleasing for their perfume, but are rather inconspicuous & not generally numerous. The vine is really grown for the highly unusual oaleaf-shaped, lime-green & golden veined variegated foliage.
It also produces a few blue-black berries of ornamental interest for late summer & early autumn, not very many, & not regarded as edible, though birds like them.
There are two distinct leaf types, plane 'Aureoreticulata' has ovate leaves like the species & is the form nearly always seen distributed through our local nurseries. But what we have is the strain with leaves the shape of oakleaves.
We were at a nursery in a nearby town when Granny Artemis ran up to me while i was checking out with a few small plants, & she asked me, "Have you ever seen a honeysuckle with oak-shaped leaves?" I did a quick-search of the brain-index & could only envision the usual arrangement of pairs of round leaves, so said, "Nope." She said, "Well, they have one!" I didn't quite believe it & suspected something was mislabeled, but I left the check-out counter to check it out, & sure enough, it was almost the goldenet honeysuckle I'd often seen for sale, but there was no doubthing this one had oak-shaped leaves, so we trundled back to the check-out with one more item.
Since obtaining it, I've looked with greater scrutiny at the nursery stocks here & there, & 90% of the time the leaves are round. I like the oalkleaf form much better, since it is after all grown mainly for the foliage, & this one's foliage is doubly unique for shape as well as color.
Though restrained compared to the species, Oakleaf Goldnet Honeysuckle can be a little rampant especially in the south, where it is evergreen or semi-evergreen. In the Pacific Northwest all Japanese honeysuckle cultivars are perfectly restrained, perhaps because the cooler weather enforces a deciduous habit upon it so that it cannot get out of hand, & 'Oakleaf Aureoreticulata' is more restrained than most, climbing to a mere twelve feet with a twelve foot spread, less than half the size of the species.
Though usually grown as a climbing vine, it can also be grown as a groundcover creeper, or it can be hung from baskets & containers, or over garden walls.
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