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This article discusses cultivation, uses and preservation of Lonicera caerulea, a cool temperate climate shrub with edible fruit in the honeysuckle family. The plant may perform moderately well as part of the shrub layer in a temperate climate forest garden.
- 1 Background Information
- 2 Characteristics
- 3 Requirements
- 4 Cultivation
- 5 Harvest
- 6 Preservation
- 7 Uses
- 8 Cooking
- 9 Nutritional Values
- 10 References
Approximately 180 honeysuckle species are identified. They are arching shrubs or twining vines, some are fragrant and are grown as garden ornamentals. Most have mildly poisonoius berries. Other edible honeysuckles include Lonicera augustifolia (Narrow-leaf Honeysuckle) and Lonicera villosa (Mountain Fly Honeysuckle).
Family: Caprifoliaceae ("honeysuckle family")
Species: L. caerulea
- Sweetberry Honeysuckle
- Haskap (haskappu, hascap, hascup)
- Blue-berried Honeysuckle / Blue honeysuckle
- Deepblue Honeysuckle
- Bluefly honeysuckle
- Edible honeysuckle
- Swamp fly honeysuckle
Lonicera after Renaissance botanist Adam Lonicer.W
Caerulea/caeruleus dissimilation of caeluleus, derived from caelum (“sky, heaven”) + -uleus (diminutive suffix indicating small size or youth).
Haskap from Ainu language meaning "little present on the end of the branch".
Originally cultivated as a food crop in Japan and Russia, now also in Canada.
Albania, Amur, Austria, Baltic States, Belarus, Bulgaria, Buryatiya, Chita, Czechoslovakia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Kamchatka, Khabarovsk, Korea, Kuril Is., Magadan, North European Russi, Northwest European R, Primorye, Romania, Sakhalin, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, Yakutskiya, Yugoslavia
[Source= Plants of the World Online]
Fruits 0.8-1.0cm long, dark blue.
Fast growing, deciduous shrub.
At least 2 plants needed for good cropping.
Fruiting in summer.
Tolerates acidic and alkaline soil.
Moderate shade, cropping reduced
Easy to grow
Other sources advise Potted or bare rooted plants in winter.
Semi ripe cuttings in late summer. Hardwood cuttings in winter.
Resistant to pests and disesases.
Harvest when berries darken and soften.
Stores for about 1 week.
Berries can be eaten raw.
- Fruit leather
- Bee plant (like most honeysuckles)
Generally speaking, can substitute for blueberry in recipes. Seeds are very small, so no need to sieve.
Add recipes or links here
- High in antioxidants (3x higher than blueberries).
- High in Vitamin C
- High in calcium
- Lonicera caerulea (Plants of the World Online).
- Honeyberry (Royal Horticultural Society).
- Crawford, M (2016). Creating a Forest Garden: working with nature to grow edible crops. Green Books. ISBN 9781900322621.
- Pemberton, T; Gearing, D; Marsh, C; (2019). Edible Shrubs. Plants for a Future. ISBN 9781791954949.