The Honeysuckle (Caprifoliaceae) Family Collection at The Morton Arboretum was started in 1981 and is located in a gently sloped valley surrounded by tall pines. This is one of the largest and most diverse taxonomic collections containing a total of ten genera and 116 different kinds of plants. In this family are mostly shrubs and vines, many popular as ornamentals. Flowers in this family are small, generally tubular, funnel-shaped, or bell-like, and they are often pleasantly fragrant.
The fragrant viburnum (Viburnum farreri) in the collection is always the first to bloom, with flowers opening in mid-to-late March. It is easy to locate this plant because of its strong fragrance. Korean spice viburnum (Viburnum carlesii) is perhaps the most fragrant of all viburnums. The pink flower buds open to white flowers in late April and give off a strong, spicy fragrance.
One of the highlights of this collection is emerald charm viburnum (Viburnum rufidulum 'Morton'), a Chicagoland Grows®, Inc. introduction with glossy leaves, impressive bluish purple fruits, and intense burgundy fall color. Look for the seven-son flower (Hepatacodium miconioides), a large attractive shrub with highly fragrant white flowers that blooms in early September, and then fades to reveal magenta sepals in October.