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This article discusses cultivation, uses and preservation of Lonicera caerulea (Honeyberry / Haskap berry), 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 poisonous 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
- Honeyberry 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 Siberia, northern China and northern Japan. Some cultivars have been developed at the University of Saskatchewan and the commercial growing of haskap is growing 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]
Flowers yellow - white.
Fruits 0.8-1.0cm long, dark blue. Thin skin.
Fruiting in summer (May), often the first berries to come into fruit.
Tolerates acidic and alkaline soil.
Moderate shade, cropping reduced
Easy to grow
Other sources advise Potted or bare rooted plants in winter.
Like many berries, cropping is reduced in shade. In this regard, there are potentially more productive options for the shrub layer which will perform slightly better in partial shade (e.g. Gooseberry, Jostaberry, currants). However, marked hardiness, early cropping, disease resistance and low maintenance are potentially useful factors. Honeyberry plants may be best positioned in relatively sunnier patches in a forest garden to perform best, and they may benefit from the wind-sheltered microclimate provided by nearby trees.
One author of a forest gardening textbook gave honeyberry a "good" rating (2 out of 4) to describe the plants potential to perform in a temperate forest garden.
Semi ripe cuttings in late summer. Hardwood cuttings in winter.
Generally 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, e.g. in pies or crumbles. Seeds are very small, so no need to sieve.
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- High in antioxidants (3x higher than blueberries).
- High in Vitamin C
- High in calcium
- Cockrall-King, J (2016). Food Artisans of the Okanagan: Your Guide to the Best Locally Crafted Fare. TouchWood Editions. ISBN 9781771511537.
- 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.
- Whitefield, P (1996). How to make a Forest Garden. Permanent Publications. ISBN 9781856230087
- Pemberton, T; Gearing, D; Marsh, C; (2019). Edible Shrubs. Plants for a Future. ISBN 9781791954949.
- Toensmeier, E; Bates, J (2013). Paradise Lot: Two Plant Geeks, One-Tenth of an Acre, and the Making of an Edible Garden Oasis in the City. Chelsea Green Publishing. ISBN 9781603583992.