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It is called Bush Honeysuckle in some circles but its real name is Diervilla
by Art Drysdale
by Art Drysdale


Art Drysdale, a life-long resident of Toronto and a horticulturist well known all across Canada, is now a resident of Parksville, British Columbia on Vancouver Island, just north of Nanaimo. He has reno-vated an old home and has a new garden there. His radio gardening vignettes are heard in south-western Ontario over radio station Easy 101 FM out of Tillsonburg at 2 PM weekdays.

Art also has his own website at

April 9, 2017

Above, top to bottom are the three Diervilla Kodiak cultivars: red, orange and black. Below, Camellia japonica pink; and the Heathers along our garden pathway.




What do you know about the shrub Diervilla? Here are the top three reasons to grow Kodiak® Black Diervilla: 1) One of the best shade-tolerant shrubs (though color is more intense in sun or part shade), 2) Never without clusters of yellow flowers during the summer, and 3) Dramatic black-purple foliage all season with vivid red tones in autumn.

Adaptable to most soils, including dry ones. Trim in spring and apply a controlled-release fertilizer. Looking for an adaptable native plant that's drought-tolerant, deer-resistant and colorful? This is it!

Diervilla just got a lot more colorful: this tough, easy-growing shrub is a standout with its dark burgundy-black foliage. The color is especially intense in spring and autumn. The bright yellow flowers add contrast in early summer. This is a durable native that thrives in sun or shade, and is a very useful landscape plant.

Diervilla does not just come with almost-black foliage—it also comes with red and with orange foliage. The Kodiak® Red Diervilla is also a native flowering shrub that looks great while shrugging off shade, problem soils, and even deer. New growth emerges in spring with a rich red tone, and turns vivid red in fall. During summer, leaves have a red edge and clusters of small yellow flowers appear all season. It's a simple but beautiful way to add low-maintenance color to parts of your garden that have been difficult to landscape.

The Kodiak® Orange Diervilla pushes fall color to the limits with its glowing orange fall foliage. It lights up the fall landscape, making it an ecofriendly alternative to burning bush. Bright yellow flowers in early summer add to its appeal. A durable native plant that thrives in sun or shade, it is drought-tolerant, deer-resistant, and can even grow in dry shade. This is an excellent landscape plant that will succeed in even challenging sites.

All three Diervilla shrubs though they are sometimes called "bush honeysuckle," Diervilla are not invasive like certain honeysuckles are.

Kodiak Diervilla or Bush honeysuckle is genus of three species of deciduous shrubs in the family Caprifoliaceae, all indigenous to eastern North America. The genus is named after a French surgeon Dr. Marin Diereville, who introduced the plant to Europe around 1700.

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Well, finally our garden is starting to reflect the spring season. Our early yellow-flowered Rhododendron is coming into full flower—should be good within the upcoming week. And in another part of the garden, our lovely pink-flowered Camellia is now out almost in full flower—best ever. Our marsh marigolds are reaching their best in the large pond and we have numerous bulbs in full flower.

The heather along both sides of our main garden pathway is also just about at its best—I have included a shot from 2012 to give you an idea of what they look like today.


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