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Freylinia lanceolata


Water Needs

moderate; high

Freylinia lanceolata
Shrub medium; Shrub large
Yellow Honeybells, Honeybell Bush; Heuningklokkiesbos

4 - 5 m


Light Conditions





yellow; February - August; summer autumn winter

Garden Situation

sun; damp sun; windy exposed; screen; wildlife insects birds; narrow spaces;


wetland; fynbos; coastal eastern cape


western cape; thicket

Rain Season


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Most gardeners are familiar with our local blue Honeybell shrub, Freylinia tropica, which is used to great effect as a hedge. This yellow-flowering species is not as well- known but is quite a beauty. Frelyinia lanceolata, Yellow Honeybells, Honeybell Bush or by the very descriptive Afrikaans name of Heuningklokkiesbos, grows to 4.5, x 4.5 m in height and spread, producing masses of drooping sprays of pale creamy-yellow flowers off the branch tips from winter to spring (June to August). The bark is a pale grey, and while it is usually a large multi-stemmed shrub, it can be cut up into a traditional single stemmed small tree depending on its use in the garden. The shrub makes an effective screen or windbreak, though, if you retain the lower branches. F. lanceolata has a weeping habit giving it a less formal structured look, one of its attractions, for the soft, flexible branches and long thin leaves allow it to sway in the wind, creating movement within the garden. This characteristic also makes it a good choice for a windbreak as flexible branches move with strong winds. F. lanceolata enjoys moist soils growing naturally along streams or on the edge of marshes or vleis, and its natural distribution range is from the Southwestern Cape, northwards to Calvinia and eastwards to Uitenhage. Freylinia lanceolata made its first stage appearance in the garden of the Count Freylino of Italy, in 1817, and the specific name ‘lanceolata’ gives the gardener an idea of its leaf shape, like a lance, thin and long, tapering to a sharp point. If planted in a sunny spot with sufficient amounts of water, the Honeybell Bush is a relatively undemanding garden plant, with few pests and diseases that worry it. In too much shade, however, shrubs have sparse foliage and the bark covered in lichen. It is an adaptable shrub that copes well in both winter and summer rainfall regions in a normal garden bed. It is fast growing in ideal conditions. Size: Fit it at the back of bed as a backdrop, or on the boundary as a screening shrub. Plant the shrub alongside a winding path where the flowers can be seen close up to get the most value from the flower displays. It will tolerate light to moderate frost. F. lanceolata is easily propagated from the tiny brown seeds that can be found on the shrub throughout the year or take cuttings in summer. The Honeybell Bush attracts a variety of pollinators: bees, of course, love the honey smell, and many insects can be found visiting the flowers. This attracts a great variety of insectivorous (insect-eating) birds.

Freylinia lanceolata
Freylinia lanceolata
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