Lonicera Nitida is native to China’s Yunnan and West Sichuan where it grows in wild areas at high altitudes. The cultivar Ophelie is low growing and spreading and most commonly called Honeysuckle Ophelie or Box Honeysuckle. It has tiny lime green glossy leaves that become golden in full sun hence its name Nitida which means ‘shining’.
In spring, small white flowers bloom which are attractive to pollinators and carry a light scent. In unclipped specimens small purple berries form. In autumn through to winter the foliage remains in place providing colour, structure and shelter for wildlife.
This is a quick growing low shrub that enjoys clipping and creates fast natural hedging and dividers. It’s a rightly popular choice for its toughness, fast growth habit, and brightly coloured foliage.
Height And Spread of Lonicera Nitida Ophelie This is a compact Lonicera that will reach a height of 60 cms and spread over a metre in a few years.
How Hardy Is Lonicera Nitida Ophelie Lonicera Nitida Ophelie is hardy enough to withstand UK winters if its roots are well drained. It’s rarely bothered by pests and is drought resistant once established.
How To Use Lonicera Nitida Ophelie The main uses of Lonicera Nitida Ophelie are low growing hedging, border dividers, or ground cover but it also suits wildlife and low maintenance gardens where it can be left to grow dense and shaggy as it would in its native habitat.
Other uses are as a bright backdrop for seasonal flowering plants in a low maintenance border and creating bright lime green shades in a foliage garden.
It’s also a good choice for topiary containers on the deck or front garden if well-watered and fed.
How To Care For Lonicera Nitida Ophelie Lonicera Nitida Ophelie needs little care once established. Plant it in full sun to partial shade. It will turn golden in full sun but remain lime green in shady areas. Any soil from acid to alkaline is suitable so long as it’s well drained and you can let it grow freely into a shaggy bush or trim it twice yearly to maintain size and symmetry.
This tough little shrub can withstand exposed areas and less than average soil, but mulch the roots once a year to boost health and trap moisture.