AskDefine | Define twinberry

Dictionary Definition

twinberry

Noun

1 shrubby honeysuckle with purple flowers; western North America [syn: Lonicera involucrata]
2 creeping woody plant of eastern North America with shiny evergreen leaves and scarlet berries [syn: partridgeberry, boxberry, Mitchella repens]

Extensive Definition

Lonicera involucrata (Bearberry Honeysuckle, Twinberry Honeysuckle, Twin-berry) is a species of honeysuckle native to northern and western North America, from southern Alaska east across boreal Canada to Quebec, and south through the western United States to California, and to Chihuahua in northwestern Mexico. It grows at elevations from sea level to 2,900 m.
It is a large shrub that can grow 0.5–5 m high, with shoots with a quadrangular cross-section. The leaves are elliptic, to oval-shaped, 3-16 cm long and 2-8 cm broad; they are hairy along the margins and on the underside, and have a distinctive abruptly acuminate tip. The flowers are yellow, tubular, hairy, 1–2 cm long, and are monoecious; they are produced in pairs subtended by a pair of reddish basal bracts 2–4 cm across. The fruit is a 6–12 mm diameter black berry containing several small seeds; it is edible but bitter.
There are two varieties:
  • Lonicera involucrata var. involucrata. Most of the species' range, except as below; in California only in the Sierra Nevada. Leaves thin; flowers yellow.
  • Lonicera involucrata var. ledebourii (Eschsch.) Jeps. Coastal California and southern Oregon. Leaves thick, leathery; flowers tinged orange to red outside.

Cultivation and uses

It is often used as an ornamental plant. It is resistant to air pollution, and can be kept in a large garden.

References

twinberry in Spanish: Lonicera involucrata
twinberry in Portuguese: Lonicera involucrata
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