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Tree Campus: Black Twinberry

Tree Campus SCC is a multi-year and interdisciplinary college initiative to document, map, and celebrate the incredible diversity of trees planted on the campus. With over 200 species, Shoreline Community College is an arboreal paradise that deserves to b


Black Twinberry

Lonicera involucrata (CAPRIFOLIACEAE)



Alaska to California



"Twinberry honeysuckle is a valuable shrub for streambank erosion control and restoration of riparian areas, swamps, bogs, moist woodlands, scrub-shrub wetlands, and sandy coastal areas within its native range. Winter dormant branches are useful as live stakes, fascines, and other soil bioengineering practices for stabilizing streambanks, moist slopes, and the immediate shoreline of lakes or ponds. The species is also used in hedgerows and pollution resistant wind shelters...

The berries are eaten by bears, small mammals, game birds including quail and grouse, and songbirds such as thrushes. The flower is a source of nectar for hummingbirds and butterflies. The plant is host for the larva of certain butterflies including Gillett’s checkermallow. Value as general wildlife cover is high, but as browse its desirability is rated low for most large game animals. However, elk, moose, mountain goats, and deer are reported to utilize the leaves or twigs in some areas. The species is rated as poor forage for domestic cattle and fair for sheep." [1]


Equity: Cultural and Historical Significance

"Reports on the fruit vary from poisonous, to mildly toxic, to bitter and unpalatable, to edible and useful as food, depending on tribe, region or publication. The berry was used as a source of dye. Medicinal uses were many and varied among tribes. These included the leaves, berries or bark as a decoction, infusion, or poultice for sores, body cleansing, swellings, dandruff, wounds, infections, sore throats, paralysis, coughs, burns, itches, venereal diseases, boils, stomach troubles, pains of the legs or feet, arthritis, and sore eyes. Sometimes the leaves or bark were simply chewed for treating ailments or used as a ceremonial emetic (i.e. to induce vomiting)." [1]



"The species is rated as poor forage for domestic cattle and fair for sheep... There is some suggestion the foliage or other plant parts may have a mildly toxic effect on cattle." [1]



[1] Darris, D. 2011. Plant fact sheet for twinberry honeysuckle (Lonicera involucrata). USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Corvallis, OR. 97330. Retrieved from

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