Twin honeysuckle is an attractive shrub with erect to spreading, branched stems from 60-150 cm high. The short-petiolate leaves are elliptic, rhombic or broadly ovate in shape with rounded to acute tips. They range from 2.5-7.5 cm long and 1.5-4.5 cm wide. Both leaf surfaces are more or less covered with spreading hairs.
The flowers are paired on peduncles 1-4.5 cm long. The corolla is cup-shaped and two-lipped, the larger upper lip tipped with 4 shallow lobes while the lower lip is narrower with entire margins. The corolla ranges from a medium brownish-purple to dark reddishy-purple with greenish streaks. The throat and internal surface of the corolla is covered with numerous long, spreading hairs as are the lower sections of the filaments and styles. The bright red fruits are of the two flowers are united in the middle (See photo below.) and measure up to 1 cm long.
Twin honeysuckle may be found in meadows and moist open slopes as well as open woods from the lowlands to well into the mountains.
Twin honeysuckle may be found in the Cascade Mts. from Mt. Adams south to the Sierra Nevada of California.
In the Columbia River Gorge, it may be found between the elevations of 100'-3900' from near Crown Point east to near Hood River, OR.
The photos directly above and below show the twin flowers of twin honeysuckle as seen along the Island Springs Trail on the eastern slopes of Mt. Adams.................July 1, 2005. Note the greenish, twin ovaries which are inferior to the maroon corollas. Note also the numerous whitish hairs in the mouth of the corolla and the narrow anthers which are held perpendicular to the filament.
The photo above shows a close-up of the leaf of purple-flowered honeysuckle as seen at about 4000' along a road along the northern side of the ridge that separates the Dairy and Cougar Creek drainages at the southeastern corner of Mt. Adams...................June 11, 2005.