New HCG Plants for Spring 2012: #2


Kintzley’s Ghost ® Vining Honeysuckle (Lonicera reticulate ‘Kintzley’s Ghost’)

Vines are so useful in our landscapes. They provide coverage for fences (especially unsightly ones) and make a wonderful trellis plant to cover walls and narrow upright spaces with attractive foliage and colorful flowers. Kintzley’s Ghost is a very unusual native vine that gives us an unusually long season of interest. With showy late spring yellow flowers followed by a summer long display of large, bright silver-dollar like bracts, ‘Kintzley’s Ghost’ is a little known but highly ornamental Lonicera species.

It’s also a plant that comes to 21st century gardeners with a very interesting story attached to it. Originally propagated by William “Ped” Kintzley at the Iowa State University greenhouses in the 1880’s, he passed it along to family members, where it grew in a few family gardens unknown to the rest of the world. Then in the late 1990’s nurseryman Scott Skogerboe of Ft. Collins Wholesale Nursery spotted the plant growing in old town Ft. Collins, CO.  A man with a passion for plant history, Scott stopped to examine this startling discovery and talked with the homeowner. This is how he learned of its origins and realized that he had re-discovered a superb heirloom plant. Scott began to propagate the vine and in 2006, Colorado’s Plant Select™ program awarded it recognition as a Plant Select winner.


I had had forgotten about the plant until this past June when I visited Denver Botanic Garden for a conference. These photos that I took that day reminded me why Kintzley’s Ghost truly is an award winner. Easily grown in most any soil in a part to full sun location, it is a moderately fast grower that matures to a very manageable size.  (8-12'  tall x 3-5' wide). It is very cold hardyand grows in USDA Zones 4-8. To add even more color to its space plant some so companion plants like Salvia nemerosa ‘May Night’ at the base of the vine to dress-up it up a bit.

3 thoughts on “New HCG Plants for Spring 2012: #2”

  • Sue Richardson
    Sue Richardson 02/10/12 at 7:34 am

    Wow! Thanks for highlighting some new plants I've not seen ANyWheRE except on your website. Rest assured, I am passing the word to all of my fellow gardeners. Again, thANKS. Sue

  • Yvonne O'Brien
    Yvonne O'Brien 04/14/12 at 6:12 am

    Regarding the new Kintzley Ghost vining honeysuckle, is it deer resistant? It sounds beautiful, but, of course, where I'd like to plant it would be vulnerable. Thanks for your info and reply.

  • jessica

    I planted two of these on a trellis 3 springs ago. I was attracted to the shape of the leaves. It has become one of the highlights of my gardens. It's a strong, hardy grower. It's in poor soil. One plant is mostly in shade and one is mostly in sun. Both plants on the trellis have grown at the same rate and are equally healthy. I am in a neighborhood so overrun with deer that they'll even eat a yucca to the dirt and yet, the hardly have bothered my Kintzley's Ghost. I'll be getting another plant to grow up my deck this spring. Go get one! You won't regret it!

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