There are about 100 species of annuals, biennials, perennials, and a few deciduous subshrubs, in this genus. They are widespread in mountains and prairies throughout the Northern Hemisphere. They have alternate, pinnate, mid green leaves and bear axillary racemes of pea like flowers in violet, purple, red or pink occasionally white or yellow. They are attractive to bees. Tall species such as H. coronarium, are suitable for the back of a mixed or herbaceous border, and provide sweet smelling cut flowers. Small species are ideal for a rock garden.
Grow in well drained, stony or sandy, poor to moderately fertile, alkaline soil in full sun. Divide w3ith care in spring.
Prone to rust.
H. coronarium ‘Album’ – French Honeysuckle – Sweetvetch – This upright, bushy perennial or biennial found from western Mediterranean to Italy grows 3′ feet tall and 2-3′ feet wide. It produces pinnate leaves consisting of 7-15 paired, elliptic to obovate or rounded, smooth edged, gray-green leaflets, 1 ½” long. In spring it bears racemes of very fragrant, pea like, white flowers, to 3/4″ long, which are attractive to bees and nectar feeding birds.