The Ghost of Kintzley Haunts Western Gardens

Thursday’s Name That Plant contest featured Lonicera reticulata ‘Kintzley’s Ghost’ a hardy honeysuckle with unusual-looking flowers.

A few years ago I picked up a ‘Kintzley’s Ghost’ honeysuckle at the Plant Select annual meeting and planted it next to an arbor in my sunny backyard and practically forgot about it.

This spring, the hardy perennial vine reminded me why I was attracted to it in the first place. Without any care from me over the winter, it sprung to life late last month.

It’s now one of the loveliest, most reliable plants in my garden.

Scott Skogerboe, a plant propagator with Fort Collins Wholesale Nursery, discovered the vine while driving around the city one day. He liked the looks of this honeysuckle, especially its round, silver-dollar size bracts with small yellow flowers.  The bracts resemble eucalyptus and turn from green to silver-white and remain on the plant throughout the summer.

The history of this honeysuckle is that it’s an heirloom passed down through the family of an Iowa horticulturist by the name of Dr. William Kintzley of Iowa State University.

The vine gets its ‘Ghost’ tag because they say the honeysuckle was found growing on William Kintzley’s grave and brought by his family to Colorado in the 1960s.

There’s nothing scary about this plant, in fact, Kintzley’s Ghost has become another one of my favorite Plant Select plants. It’s extremely easy to grow, it’s very hardy through cold, wet winters and it surprises me every spring.

Do you have a favorite Plant Select plant in your garden? If so, I’d love to hear about it!


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WOW! I just purchased two Kintzley’s Ghost from one of our local nurseries….. When I asked if they had any honeysuckle they pointed to where three were and said “We have three sad specimens, don’t know anything about them”, indeed they looked kind of sad, I took two. I will be going back for the third first thing in the morning! There were no pictures and no information tags so I bought ‘blind’. I have looked this lovely honeysuckle up and found it to be rather unique to what I’m used to (I’m an ex-Brit trying to recreate my garden) and nowhere could I find a mention of scent. That would be the icing on the cake, but having such an unusual honeysuckle would be good enough on it’s own. I live in Northeast Oregon, sounds like the perfect climate.

Hi Wendy:

Thanks for dropping by and posting your comment about the Kintzley’s Ghost honeysuckle. I wanted to get in touch to let you know that this variety of honeysuckle isn’t fragrant like other honeysuckle varieties. But I love it anyway!

This is a beautiful, no-maintenance plant in my landscape. I have one that grows over a trellis and it is lovely to look at for 3 seasons.

I hope you’ll enjoy your plants as much as I do. I’d be interested to hear how they grow in your Oregon garden.


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