The Cape Honeysuckle is a scrambling, evergreen shrub with multiple stems, growing to about 3m high and equally wide, occurring in bushveld and on forest margins along the coast from the southern Western Cape through to Kwazulu-Natal and into the Lowveld and escarpment of Mpumalanga and Limpopo. The flowers appear in masses at the end of winter and are carried through till deep in the autumn months – some even flower year-round. The flowers come in yellow, orange or red varieties.
Cape Honeysuckles are hardy, fast growing and easy to maintain and is therefore a favourite indigenous garden feature that have been exported to other parts of the world too (where it can become invasive). We have two Cape Honeysuckle shrubs in our little garden – they’re excellent for creating a screen between us and the neighbours. The bark is used in traditional medicine to treat pain, fever, diarrhoea, bronchitis and sleeplessness. The flowers are a magnet to sunbirds and insects and its dense, scrambling nature means that it is often used as a nesting site by smaller birds. Wild animals and livestock will browse on the leaves.