Honeybells, Honeybell Bush
Freylinia Lanceolata is described by some gardeners as a rather wild and untidy plant, but it has so many positives to offer that it really is an ideal indigenous plant for the garden.
It is aptly called ‘Honeybell’ after its clusters of golden-yellow, sweetly scented, bell-shaped flowers that are borne mainly in spring and then at regular intervals throughout the year. The long, slender, drooping foliage is almost willow-like and normally multi-stemmed, branching from the base. It can be pruned into single-stemmed small tree – if you have the patience!
Just select the strongest and straightest on the young stems, place a good strong stake alongside it and secure the stem to the stake by means of old stockings or plant ties. Keep a regular watch on the plant but do not be hasty to prune the lower branches off. Rather wait until the main ‘stem’ has reached the height that is most desirable for your garden and then you can remove the lower branches, creating a canopy for your small tree.
Freylinia Lanceolata occurs naturally in moist areas so it is perfect for planting along the banks of streams and near dams or ponds, but it will also grow well in garden beds, where it will create a good backdrop for other plants as well as a being an effective screen. It can reach a height of up to five metres and grow equally as wide. If you want it to remain a smaller and more compact plant this is easily achieved with regular pruning and shaping.
Do expect unannounced visitors when there is a Honeybell in your garden. Butterflies and birds (both insectivorous and nectar-eating) will be dropping in frequently.