Lonicera involucrata (Richardson) Banks ex Spreng.
black twinberry (bearberry honeysuckle; twinberry honeysuckle)
Caprifoliaceae (Valerian family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Paul Dawson     (Photo ID #88479)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Lonicera involucrata
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend


Lonicera involucrata var. involucrata


Black twinberry is a deciduous species of shrub that is found across North America. In British Columbia, it is commonly found in the lower two thirds of the province. Habitat includes moist forests and thickets with moist nitrogen-rich soils (Douglas et al. 1998, Klinka et al. 1989). It is tolerant of fluctuating groundwater levels (Klinka et al. `989). It is readily identified by the yellow tubular flowers that occur in pairs, and the black shiny berries.

Species Information

Deciduous, erect to straggly shrub, 0.5-5 m tall; young twigs 4-angled, greenish, glabrous; older stems with yellowish-grey, shredding bark.
Opposite, short-stalked, elliptic to oblanceolate or broadly lanceolate, 3-16 cm long, 2-8 cm wide, entire, rounded or tapered at base, abruptly sharp-pointed at tip, pale and glabrous or somewhat hairy beneath.
Inflorescence of short-stalked pairs of flowers cupped by large (2 - 4 cm across) involucres of 2 pairs of fused bracts, on 1-4 cm long stalks in leaf axils; corollas tubular bell-shaped, yellow, 1-2 cm long, glandular hairy on outside, scarcely 2-lipped with 5 roughly equal lobes above; corolla tubes with short thick spurs at bases.
Berries, shiny black, 0.8-1.2 cm across, paired, loosely surrounded while young by paired bracts, which darken and redden (to purplish-maroon) as they recurve from the maturing fruits.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Black
Present over the Summer
Source:  The USDA


Ecological Framework for Lonicera involucrata

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres)
1065 0 2460
Slope Gradient (%)
12 0 235

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

3 0 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
4 0 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

AT(6), BG(9), BWBS(388), CDF(32), CWH(256), ESSF(1667), ICH(1260), IDF(405), IMA(1), MH(1), MS(951), PP(9), SBPS(252), SBS(2975), SWB(1)

Habitat and Range

Moist forests and thickets in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; common in BC south of 58degreeN; N to YT, E to PQ and S to MI, WI, NM, CA and MX.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia