Native across the northern hemisphere, honeysuckle inspires many with its sweet fragrance and hardiness. The druids, Chinese herbalists and the French have all attached different meanings to this flowering vine.
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The Druids: Ogham Plants
The Ogham was an ancient Celtic alphabet carved into stones, with each letter representing a certain plant or tree and the mystical meaning behind it. The honeysuckle character stood for following one's path, as a twisting vine, and attracting sweetness in life.
The Chinese: Medicinal Meanings
Traditional Chinese medicine has long relied on honeysuckle—called Jin Yin Hua—for a variety of cures. It is referred to as a cooling herb that removes toxins and provides the psychological benefit of quelling homesickness and feelings of nostalgia.
The French: Language of Flowers
In 1819, a French woman named Louise Cortambert, writing under the pen name Madame Charlotte de la Tour, published a book entitled “Le Language des Fleurs.” This “Language of Flowers” outlined the hidden meanings behind flowers, with honeysuckle standing for the bonds of devoted love, fidelity and spiritual vision.
Modern Gift Meaning: Happiness
According to the Flower Society, the predominant modern sentiment attached to honeysuckle has changed from ancient times. Today, a gift of honeysuckle represents an expression of happiness.
Honeysuckle vines are extremely hardy and difficult to kill once established in a garden. This attribute contributes to the honeysuckle’s meaning of devotion and lasting bonds.