Honeyberries, the Edible Blue Honeysuckle: A Fruit for Cold Climates

– Posted in: Fruit
76 comments

My first introduction to Clayton was his comment on my post about cold climate seeds. On his recommendation I checked out the links in his sidebar. That’s how I found out he grows edible blue honeysuckle, a fruit that is extremely hardy. I thought my readers would like to know more about it, so I asked him to write a guest post.

Edible Blue Honeysuckle – A New Dream Crop for Prairie Berry and Fruit Growers

If you have been searching the internet lately, you may have come across this title on a blog about growing this very interesting fruit plant. The blog is my personal story about this tough plant which originates in the southern reaches of Siberia and the north of China and as far as the Kuril Islands north of Japan. Its botanical roots are in the Family Caprifoliaceae, Genus Lonicera, species caerulea. Edible blue honeysuckle fruit is also known as Haskap and Honeyberries.

Clayton stands with a 1.5 year-old Polish seedling

I first came into contact with the edible blue honeysuckle several years ago now when I was working at the University of Saskatchewan as a Research Technician in Malting Barley breeding. This department also includes the Horticultural Crops and I had always had a strong interest in fruit growing here on the Saskatchewan Prairies where the climate is a real test of hardiness. It is not uncommon in winter for the temperature to drop to -40C (-40F) on the prairies and with wind chills it can be even harsher. Brrrrrr! Thus it was very intriguing to me to first hear of edible blue honeysuckle sometime in the couple of years prior to 2006. Dr. Bob Bors and Rick Sawatzky (Horticulture Fruit Technician) began to talk of this plant and their work with it in our Prairie context. First it was in conversations and then at Fruit Crop meeting presentations on various occasions.

They were very enthused about the potential of the edible blue honeysuckle because of its hardy nature and good fruit production potential under difficult conditions. They also intimated in those early days that there seemed to be very little problem with disease or insect pests which are welcome traits in this day when less is more in terms of pesticides. All in all this seemed like an interesting plant to bring into the home garden and try. Currently I grow about three hundred of these shrubs, including ten named varieties and numerous seedlings in various stages of growth. I am also seeding to produce about two hundred to two hundred fifty more plants.

What Do Edible Blue Honeysuckles Taste Like?

The berry is a pale to dark blue, sometimes with a waxy overlay which makes it look dusty white. The flavour is described as a blueberry with black currant and black raspberry overtones. It seems the flavour is somewhat dependent on the level of polyphenols (antioxidants) and the soil types. They are certainly better well-ripened. The Russian types can be harvested all at one picking while the Japanese-area types tend to ripen over an extended time and are later by ten to fifteen days.

blue honeysuckle crumble

Clayton's wife created this Blue Honeysuckle Crumble based on a recipe for blueberries. Clayton says honeysuckles have more liquid so it was a little runny. The sauce would be great over ice cream!


We have used the berries for pies, jam, jelly and deep-fried treats. Locally, we have a producer at the Farmer’s Market who makes ice cream. Mmmmm, good! The fruit can be somewhat tart so some mixing of fruit may be helpful. (We did a blueberry/honeysuckle mix and it was very good). You can find examples of their use on the internet. Many products are available, especially on the Island of Hokkaido in Japan, and a search for Haskap or Haskup will bring up sites which illustrate these products.

How To Grow Edible Blue Honeysuckle

This is a plant that is, as I stated earlier, very hardy, so should be able to be grown anywhere where there is reasonable soil for gardening, a little protection from winds (better pollination and prevention of berry drop), and moderate rainfall. Cold hardiness is not an issue! The flowers are known to survive at -7C or 19F. They require very little, if any, fertilizing, but can be encouraged with a very light application of low nitrogen fertilizer, probably after the blooming season, applied at the base of the plant.
Edible Blue Honeysuckle Berries
They do require a mate to pollinate so be sure you get two varieties. Some pair up better than others, so ask about this when you are purchasing plants. Do not be fooled into thinking you are getting a male and female plant. This is not the case. Rather, both plants need pollen from another plant to be productive and set fruit. One of your plants may not have as good fruit since the pollinator varieties are sometimes chosen because their pollen works better on the good variety. But fruit from both plants will be edible! They should be planted with a good spacing between so ask about the final size of the variety you buy and allow at least five feet between the plants. This will give room for maintenance and harvesting. Commercial growers are encouraged to allow eighteen feet between rows if you are going to mechanical harvest.

Since they bloom very early, as soon as the snow begins to recede and temperatures are constant at 5 to 8 degrees above freezing, the blooming pattern is already set. The flowers are insignificant so this is not an ornamental. The developing fruit will need protection from the birds. Robins and cedar waxwings will fly right into the area while you are putting up the net. For most areas harvest will take place about six to eight weeks after the bloom is finished. This is somewhat dependent on variety. Pest control is not an issue so general weed control will be the only real work while the fruit develops and on into the fall after harvest.

Where Can You Buy Them?

Finally, which varieties are available, and what do you buy? There are several varieties in the species and those which have come to the North American gardener are likely hybrids of those species. As was stated above, the key is that you will need two plants, usually not related to each other. The selection process has really already been done for you and most places (remember you’re not buying a male and female) will sell plants which are compatible in terms of pollinating each other. The best information on varieties for your location is the local Horticulture Department of your university or Dept. of Agriculture. In searching for information, I have noticed that most northern states and the provinces of Canada have some information. Also check out the local tree nurseries, garden centers, or online – you may have to look for Haskap, Honeyberry or Blue Honeysuckle since nurseries are not uniform in their naming. I refer you to a good article by Craig Larson on the different varieties. Try them – you might like them!

More Information About Edible Blue Honeysuckles

Some good sources for reference on the internet are Plants for a Future Database for the North American cousins, some of which do have edible fruit and Wikipedia which has a good coverage of the included subspecies. Of course there is much information now coming out of various Departments of Agriculture and Universities who are trying to improve on the materials which have come from those places mentioned above. You will find that some of the very earliest information on breeding and selection will be found in articles by Russian plant breeders as well as other member countries that were part of the former USSR. More recently, there is the further development of materials for the Great Plains of the North American continent and the registration of names by breeders and marketers. In this information you will find the names Honeyberries and Haskap. These are still the basic edible blue honeysuckle which has taken on a new identity.

Some good reference sites

Clayton grows the edible blue honeysuckle as a serious hobby, researching and breeding these plants in the hopes of finding new cultivars suitable for marketing. His current favorite is “#51 in our seedling nursery #2.” Feel free to ask questions in the comment form. We are interested in hearing from anyone who has experience growing these berries–or eating them!

About the Author

. . . the difference between great daffodils and common ones is not so vast as one thinks in the first flush of excitement when one starts being serious about daffodils.

~Henry Mitchell in The Essential Earthman: Henry Mitchell on Gardening

74 Comments… add one

Pat October 15, 2014, 9:16 pm

Hello, I have 2 Haskup honeyberry varieties in my northern climate garden, unfortunately, they have never flowered or produced fruit.
Could you give me pointers on how to help them produce flowers.
thank you

Lisa July 28, 2014, 11:23 am

Hi Clayton, I was wondering if you could help me to identify a shrub we have growing around our house? We just moved into the house in Northern Manitoba & have the shrubs almost surrounding the house. By your description they look like honeysuckles? I could send you a picture of the bush.

Clayton July 28, 2014, 4:36 pm

I have answered Lisa privately but the plant she has I am sure is the ornamental Blue Honeysuckle Lonicera caerulea which is often used in landscaping.
They are very hardy but not an edible fruit plant as the fruit is absolutely bitter!

Doreen June 9, 2014, 4:39 am

Help! Can anyone tell me what kind of spray is safe to use on my Haskap bushes? Something is eating holes in the leaves. My delphiniums nearby have caterpillars that I am trying to control, so I suspect that’s what it is even though I don’t see any. Thanks.

Clayton August 14, 2014, 8:08 am

Sorry I missed this post! Look for slugs. There are not many pests which bother these plants so I am surprised to hear this! Would be curious to know what kind of caterpillar you are fighting!

Maciej Nowosielski March 15, 2014, 12:15 am

Hi,
We’ve been growing and propagating blueberries in Poland for three generation and few years ago we started to make some cuttings of edible blue honeysuckle. There is big demand for them.  We’ve got few varieties but varieties of U of S seem to be great for plantations, especially Tundra. I would like to know if is possible to get permission to propagate them and what are the rules. Who I need to contact? Where I can buy motherplants etc.
Thanks

Maciek

Clayton March 16, 2014, 8:01 pm

Here are some links you need to check. The University of Saskatchewan are the owners of the plant rights on the Tundra and several other varieties they have named under Haskap.
http://www.fruit.usask.ca/haskap.html
One of the marketers you can contact is Haskap Central Sales ltd. who can ship to Europe.
http://www.haskapcentral.com/

All the best.
Clayton

Maciej Nowosielski March 25, 2014, 12:19 am

Thank you for your reply.

Ken Marsh February 26, 2014, 7:50 pm

Do you know if these have done well in Southcentral Alaska? I live in the Susitna Valley and have a good soil type for Alaska with dry soils and a fair growing season. In general how many years does it take to bear fruit?

clayton February 27, 2014, 1:09 am

Hi Ken. I have not been hearing stories from up your way but I suspect you have a wild variety growing in the forest there about.
I would direct you to Clair Lammers who is a well known fruit grower at Fairbanks. You can find his website at Clair’s Cultivations on the net.
http://www.Alaska.net/~lammers/

You may get other replies here but he is a local fruit grower to your State but will also have looked into them I am sure.

Let us know what you decide to do. There are good sources who will ship bare root or in rooted blocks.
They definitely do well anywhere were there are cold winters and some
cool through the summer. I would think they would really be worth the trial.

Clayton

Ken Marsh February 27, 2014, 1:42 am

Thanks Clayton. I definitely want to follow up and try these this year. I will need to find these out these sources and place an order for a trial.

Kevin June 7, 2014, 8:37 am

They do very well in South Central Alaska. I have been growing these for many years.

Clayton June 8, 2014, 9:28 am

Kevin great to hear! What is the source of your plants?

Clayton February 27, 2014, 7:51 pm

Hi Ken
Here is one of our local supply nurseries. Worth a look for information for sure.
http://www.haskapcentral.com/
And here is a good source of information by the looks of it!
http://redoubtreporter.wordpress.com/2012/08/29/berry-bright-future-soldotna-area-farmer-pioneers-haskap-plants-in-alaska/
http://www.alaskaberries.com/
Some good resources for you.

Clayton

molly February 22, 2014, 2:17 pm

Hi
Ive seen honeyberries mentioned before, Im interested in adding them to my postage stamp sized gardens. I live in MN so should be perfect climate. Can you recommend 2 varieties that do not get to wide of a spread yet pollinate well with each other? Thanks so much

Kathy Purdy February 22, 2014, 5:35 pm

Molly, I suggest you go to the websites mentioned in this article for advice. I don’t grow honeyberries myself (yet) and I’m not familiar with the varieties out there.

Clayton February 24, 2014, 8:51 am

Here are two very good sources of plants and information.

https://www.onegreenworld.com/Honeyberry/395/

http://honeyberryusa.com/index.html

There certainly are others but these two are deeply involved in the USA Honeysuckle/honeyberry development.
Clayton

Virginia June 25, 2013, 8:36 pm

I have 3 plant and found the flowers fell off . Does that mean they will not fruit?

Clayton February 26, 2014, 4:10 pm

Sorry I missed your post. It would be good to know if you did get fruit. Usually you can see a little double green nub where the blossom is attached and if it swells some you know the flower has been pollinated.
If the wind blows them off or some shock from severe weather then they definitely will not have set fruit.

Tell us the story!

Clayton

Peter Baker April 27, 2013, 11:08 am

I live in England. I’ve just bought a honeyberry plant. The guy in the shop told me that it was a climber and to grow it on a trellis. Also he said one plant would be ok. Should I go out and buy a second plant and move this one away from the wall trellis? Peter

Clayton April 27, 2013, 11:35 am

Peter I am concerned you have ended up with one of the ornamental Honeysuckles.
To the best of my knowledge there are no honeysuckles which climb and have edible (or at least quality) fruit!
It should be a shrub growing from a meter to 2 meters plus in height. If you search the internet you should find whatever you have been sold and truly be able to identify it.
Do not plan to eat the fruit until you are entirely sure!

Clayton

Peter Baker April 27, 2013, 12:11 pm

Thanks Clayton. It’s definitely one of the honeyberry types. There is lots of info on the card about the fruit. I think I will remove the plant to a bushier postion and buy a second one.

Clayton January 30, 2013, 8:25 pm

http://bluehoneysuckle.blogspot.ca/

You will find some information on my blog. Look back a couple of years.

Nice to see people are still asking questions.

The acreage in Saskatchewan continues to grow as we have some quite large growers with acres of plants.

ES July 19, 2012, 5:46 pm

How does one go about starting a new plant from a fruit? Is it possible?

Clayton April 28, 2014, 3:47 pm

The seed is easy to squeeze out of the ripe fruit and then I like to start them in the larger peat pellets. They will work at room temperature and you can start them right after harvest but I like to wait till January since you will need lights if you start inside. The seed could be placed in the garden in a protected area as soon as the berries are filling off. Check out these old posts on my honeysuckle blog. http://bluehoneysuckle.blogspot.ca/2007/03/update-on-seedlings.html

Olga May 17, 2012, 3:25 pm

One more thing. First year I got berries they were really tart. But after the plant mature they became much more sweet. So don’t be upset first year just wait.

Olga May 17, 2012, 2:19 pm

Hi. I’m from Russia and I grew this plant at my country garden near Moscow Russia. I love it. It’s ready to eat before strawberry and flowers smell honey-sweet. My favorite russian variety is “Blue bird” (I’m not sure is it available in the US) . The bush is more tall then wide (I’d say 8 ft tall by 4 or 5 wide) and more neat-looking. Try to cook honeyberry together with strawberry – it’s really good. And it freezes well – so you can use if for decoration you cakes all year long.
Now I’m living in Denver, Colorado and going to try it here. Do you know if anybody has any success ?

Clayton March 25, 2014, 8:14 am

Olga did you get some plants to try? I have not read all the posts here and so I missed replying to you!

My experience is that they will do OK with some summer shade and at least -5 Celsius to set seed.

Let us know how you did!

Clayton

carlos July 21, 2011, 11:58 pm

Can any one tell me where to buy Russian or Japaness hascap plants.
I was looking into purchasing 5000 plants from U of S Tundra type but we need to pay 500 $ royalties. If we could find better price it wil help every one.
All of us farmers we need help to produce and the lowest cost possible and develop our country and put products in the market at a reasonable price but if the starting cost is high it does not help.
So can some one help find these plants at a reasonable price?
Thanks
Carlos

Jennifer August 9, 2011, 4:53 pm

The U of S collects 50 cents per plant for royalty fee, and that has to be paid no matter who you purchase from. The fees collected go towards further research and development of the haskap and fruit industry. Again, I will recommend Prairie Plant Systems (see link below) as a reputable source of plants.

Barbra May 30, 2011, 11:05 pm

We have established a number of varieties of Haskap and are looking
for anyone or any information and trials of pollinators
or what type of bee’s anyone is having any luck with?
Our climate is quite cool here and growing season is short
Southwestern Alberta near US/BC border)
Thank you for any information!!

Jennifer April 25, 2011, 5:54 pm

Barb,
One place to purchase haskap is Prairie Plant Systems. They’ll take your order and arrange a shipment when it is convenient for you. I highly recommend them.

Jennifer April 25, 2011, 5:54 pm

Whoops… http://www.prairieplant.com if you want to look them up.

Barb March 7, 2011, 4:32 pm

Lynne, you mentioned you were from Calgary and had plants growing. May I ask where you purchased them? It sounds very exciting.

Lynne July 29, 2011, 4:26 pm

I bought my plants over the internet from Alberta Nurseries … they didn’t do much last year but this year they grew quite a bit … I’m hoping to see some berries next year.

Patrick/Patrick's Garden January 31, 2011, 12:58 pm

The first time I heard about this fruit I too was pretty pumped up about it as your other commentators . However when I brought up the plant with my Kansas State extension agent, she said although she the plant grows well here, our summers are too hot to expect fruit from the plant. Thank you for your exhaustive write up about this wonderful story.

Clayton January 31, 2011, 5:16 pm

I would think your Agent is right. However there are some tricks you could try if you are really itchy (so to speak). I would try planting in a lower area with some shade. Or partial shade in general. We can easily get temperatures in the high 20 C to low 30s in late June. A cool spring is nice but they are done setting fruit (Russian types) within several weeks of the snow leaving. A bigger issue is whether you will have enough cold temperature to initiate bud set for flowers in spring. It would seem by the reaction we can get here in mid Saskatchewan by late summer, say early September and a light frost, that you would need at least -5C to trigger flower buds. We have seen fruit set in that situation! By the same token, in spring they will easily handle that kind of frost on the flowers. Check out Northwoods Garden News for Saskatchewan bred plants. http://northwoodsgarden.blogspot.com/ They are in Minnesota.

Bobb January 30, 2011, 6:59 pm

I just found all of this information about the haskap, but nowhere have I found a good discussion of what should be done with the soil up front. Is there a well written growing guide for the homeowner? We live in North Dakota and Wisconsin and these look like they would be great additions to our garden.

Thanks for your time and help.

Clayton January 31, 2011, 5:22 am

Our experience here is that they are not real particular. The Canadian version of this berry which grows in the wild, tends to be a lowland plant. Read swampy even We are growing them on a low organic matter semi gravelly soil and they do well with 6 to 8 inches of rain and no fertilizer. Craig larson at Swan River Manitoba grows them on former hayland. More important is the spring potential for pollination as they bloom so very early.

Andrea September 9, 2010, 7:12 pm

A couple of weeks ago I was walking around the Glenmore Reservoir wilderness area in Calgary, Alberta and, naturally, eating berries. I came across the odd, long blue berries- which I now know to be honeyberries- and cautiously ate a few. I loved the flavor. Thought you might be interested to know that, in total, I found 3 or 4 plants growing wild around the reservoire. (already!)

Clayton September 11, 2010, 8:33 am

Sent you an email.

Lynne September 11, 2010, 4:00 pm

Where exactly did you find the honeyberries on the resevoir? We live close by and would like to go see for ourselves. I have mine planted but we had such weird weather this year that they didnt’ grow that much . I’m hoping they take off next year.

Lynne July 20, 2010, 11:11 pm

I follow this blog so that I can learn about honeyberries … of which I now have two brand new baby plants … not to listen to political rantings … perhaps there is another forum they can monopolize for that purpose?

veguke May 23, 2010, 7:47 pm

welcome to canada
of course the contract/license is control, it is the canadian way
we wait for the elites to tell us how to think and act
as an example, propagate valiant grapes in the usa, pay univ. $0.50/plant
propagate tundra haskaps in canada, bow to the elites and beg for permission
that is why i stick to the siberian/eastern european/japanese varieties
i agree with the earlier poster, they should be fairly compensated for the work
but why only allow a select few, it is eerily similar to monsanto’s practices
but being a good canadian, i’m sorry

John S July 18, 2010, 6:28 pm

“that is why i stick to the siberian/eastern european/japanese varieties”

Good for you, that’s a smart choice. What are the exact names and varieties of these plants from Japan?

And controlling plants once they’ve gone out into the wild is fascism. Birds can replicate the plants through seeds in stool, and roots can come up and create sucker clones. Grass is cloning itself all the time. If monsanto tried to control your lawn and your grass, would you get angry? Why is it any different for berries or canola? why the blindfolds you people where? Please look up Percy Monsanto case. Also look up monsanto and university of saskatchewan on google to confirm they are tied together and are sharing money and other skits and giggles with each other.

Stan Zubrowski April 13, 2010, 4:23 pm

This is a response to John (April 10, 2010):

Good grief, man! What planet are you from?? I’m from a farming community, and my brothers were farmers. How can you compare what Dr. Bors does in the fruit breeding program with dippy Monsanto’s GMO programs? There’s very little comparison, in my view. Your should be praising what Dr. Bors has been doing, rather than criticizing. Get clued in, please, before you mouth off. You’re sounding like a total idiot! Check with “Clayton”, a very nice fellow that I know personally, who has been growing Haskaps for years. I don’t normally comment on things I read, but John’s comments irked me to no end.

John S July 18, 2010, 6:32 pm

“a very nice fellow that I know personally, who has been growing Haskaps for years”

The fact that someone you personally know is “nice”, doesn’t prove anything. In fact it makes your case even weaker. Plenty of people are “nice”. What does that have to do with anything? Plenty of farmers that get sucked into growing canola from monsanto are “nice” people. How does this help anything? why did you bring up the fact that someone is “nice”? What’s this got to do with ANYTHING when it comes to critical thinking, critical analysis? Often critical scientific people are not 100 percent “nice” about certain matters – and one has every right to get upset if someone is trying to control nature (which cannot be controlled as also stated by Percy in a monsanto case).

John April 10, 2010, 11:40 pm

I think people should start boycotting buying any seeds from the university of saskatchewan or its “propagators” (where did they come up with that double speak buzzword?).

Why do I think we should boycott? NO ONE has the right to control our gardens or farms with “licenses” to grow fruit. Do not enter a contract with this morons, this is like Monsanto except for fruit! Why should ANYONE be controlled by some lab in the university of saskatchewan, and a man with a huge ego who thinks he can control our seeds and plants? A license to reproduce and grow plants? Screw you! Doesn’t anyone else think this U of S “license” and “contract” bull is over the top?

Until the U of S learns from the mistakes of Monsanto, I refuse to do business with such a shady seemingly fascist institution. If anyone can prove that I am out of line, I would like to hear your thoughts.

cottonM April 11, 2010, 1:25 pm

You are barking up the wrong tree or bush. And even though I would like to prune it enough to have you fall to earth I doubt my response will “prove” anything to you. Once the word “fascist” is brought into a “discussion” the only thing that usually happens next is more name calling. There is no longer any line to be out of. But at the risk of getting lumped in with fascists I will take you up on wanting to hear my thoughts.

The comparison to Monsanto is a false parallel. Clonal PROPAGATION is how most woody and herbaceous plants are developed and produced. If you had spent a number of years starting plants from seed, planting them out, evaluating their usefulness and reliability, I think you’d want some credit/compensation for your efforts and expenses. And the law would be on your side as it has since the 1800s. Clonally propagated plants are protected by law. Just try propagating and selling a named variety of any modern apple tree. You can bet you’d be sued. Successfully.

You might raise the issue of what a public institution can or should do. That would depend on the laws, the source of funding, and any cooperative agreements with other researchers. But realize too that public educational institutions are struggling with funding/expenses and are looking for legitimate resources. Many services and products are no longer free. The alternative is for marginal projects like the development of commercially viable varieties of Lonicera that they would not be done at all. These days agriculture research _is_ dominated and the agenda is set by big corporations, like Monsanto. I share your frustration but you’re actually outraged at a great example of someone putting in a lot of work and years for very little reward other than personal satisfaction. (there can’t much money in such a tiny market, we’re lucky anyone is actually even growing & selling plant)

Finally unless you personally know the professor it is total bullshit to be calling him out about his ego. This seems to me to be an obvious ad hominem attack based on an increasingly common prejudice of educated people especially those in universities. Despite the populist idea that professors are egotistical selfish despots, many could be making more money elsewhere and actually believe in working for the public welfare. I find that comforting in a day when the main theme in the news is how “I” go screwed. So if you feel screwed don’t buy the plants.

John S July 18, 2010, 6:36 pm

“But realize too that public educational institutions are struggling with funding/expenses and are looking for legitimate resources”

Right, so charging students $30,000 in fees for books isn’t enough already, they have to find the funding somewhere else. Is students maxing out credit cards and loans not enough money for the institutions already? Oh darn. Name one professor out there who is struggling with a bad salary say $10,000 a year. Oh what a tough life they lead – it must be easier and more profitable just to get a job at McDonalds, right? And student fees for universities these days, how cheap they are, hey?

John S July 18, 2010, 6:39 pm

“I share your frustration but you’re actually outraged at a great example of someone putting in a lot of work and years for very little reward other than personal satisfaction.”

Very little reward? Excuse me? A person driving to work each day getting paid a very good salary to be a professor, is just personal satisfaction? Are you out of your mind? Have you even thought this through for more than 15 seconds? Have you looked up Monsanto, U of S on google, and Percy’s case, to see the ties U of S has to monsanto? have you done any homework yourself?

Jason April 20, 2010, 10:05 pm

Dear John.

That is ridiculous. You ARE out of line, but at the moment I can’t think of where to begin to prove it. Seriously dude.

Do some more homework,

Jason

Kathy Purdy April 21, 2010, 7:49 am

Thank you for keeping your comments suitable for family viewing, because my children do read my blog. Reasoned arguments citing research or sources is far more helpful than name-calling. I will start to delete comments if you can’t say anything more than “You’re wrong” in a disrespectful manner.

The owner of this website.

John S. July 18, 2010, 6:16 pm

“Reasoned arguments citing research or sources is far more helpful”

You might want to do some research yourself to see that the U of S is in bed with monsanto.

GOOGLE something like “monsanto university of saskatchewan”. Universities have one goal: to make their students earn money in profit oriented careers. Monsanto is profit oriented. U of S likes monsanto. They kiss each other.

“University of Saskatchewan Program Gets USD$150000 Boost from …
University of Saskatchewan Program Gets USD$150000 Boost from Monsanto Fund … find CCNMatthews Newswire articles. div id=”be-doc-text”WINNIPEG, …”

“Monsanto ~ About Monsanto ~ 2006 ~ University of Saskatchewan …
4 Dec 2006 … (Winnipeg, MB – Dec 4, 2006) — A program developed by the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Agriculture and Bioresources aimed at …”

John July 18, 2010, 6:22 pm

“Thank you for keeping your comments suitable for family viewing”

What a lame excuse to try and silence people. Do your children ever watch television? do children ever watch the simpsons? The postings on this page are not in any way more damaging to your children than TV shows are. In fact YOUR children should be educated about such corporations like monsanto. Do a search for Percy, a man who fought Monsanto who lives in Canada. Educate your children about the evils of corporations. Your lame attempt at silencing people because “it will hurt the children” is quite ironic considering monsanto has already ruined the profits of many children in farming families.

John S. July 18, 2010, 6:12 pm

“I can’t think of where to begin to prove it.”

There must be a reason for that

John S. July 18, 2010, 6:19 pm

Jason, you may want to do more homework yourself, and search MONSANTO university of saskatchewan on google. You will find they are in bed together – monsanto gives U of S grant money and such things.

Please note that universities are not free from criticism. Doctors or PHd’s are not free from criticism. Just because something is an educational institution, does not automatically make it scott free and safe.

Lisa February 4, 2010, 10:52 pm

Thanks so much for the great information! I bought two of these by mail a couple years ago….no fruit yet but they are growing very well for me in zone 4. Glad for the tip on birds, as I already have a big flock of waxwings on my neighbor’s mulberry tree.

Patrick Muir February 1, 2010, 8:00 pm

i’m a master gardener in kansas city. does anyone know if they can handle our extreme heat and more importantly will they bear fruit? big fan

Farmerralph in BC January 31, 2010, 11:02 pm

We planted 100+ of these plants last fall and most have started to break bud with a few actually unfolding leaves. Our daytime highs have been 8-10 deg C. I dont expect much more than a taste this year but I’m sure looking forward to that. I’ll be interested to see how they cope with a late frost if we get one.

Clayton January 31, 2010, 9:29 pm

Here is a list of Canadian Propagators who can tell you where to get the new University of Saskatchewan varieties of Haskap. Other varieties of Edible Blue Honeysuckle are quite easy to find through mail-order or your local nurseries might be bringing them in by now.
http://www.fruit.usask.ca/propogators.html

On another topic follow this link to find out where some of the named US registered varieties came from.
http://bluehoneysuckle.blogspot.com/2009/05/blue-honeysuckle-registry-from-2006.html. As you can see they are mostly Russian or European plants which have been renamed for the North American market. So one needs to watch if you someone offering the Russian named variety, you could already have it by the North American name.

John S July 18, 2010, 6:42 pm

“As you can see they are mostly Russian or European plants which have been renamed for the North American market.”

So let’s get this straight here. Dr Bors stole a plant from nature, started fiddling around with it, and now he wants to charge money for a plant that he doesn’t own – he only hacked the plant and does not own the original nature of it. He thinks he and his students own the plant entirely, that he stole from nature and hacked. And this doesn’t remind anyone of Monsanto modifying canola, and having them claim copyright on the seed that they stole from nature and hacked?

Take the blindfolds off. Search U of S monsanto on google and see that they are in cahooties together.

JR January 30, 2013, 6:47 pm

John, if you propagate them yourself and are not a commercial business no one is going to come after you for a few propagated plants for your own use. If you become a commercial producer or sell the plants without a license then you are in this for profit and deserve whatever fine you get.

Sylvia January 31, 2010, 5:06 pm

What a great idea. I am all for a hearty plant that is hard to kill through weather and water. I really enjoy making those types of pies– and literally my mouth started watering when you said ice cream! I’m sure it’s amazing. Hopefully I have the right climate– I’ll have to read up on it some more.
-Sylvia

Providence Acres Farm - Sheryl January 31, 2010, 4:19 pm

Very interesting plant! I would love to try it! I have had success in growing shrubs from seed and would like to try this one. Is there anywhere I can purchase or trade for seeds?

jodi (bloomingwriter) January 30, 2010, 7:13 pm

Someone wrote about this blue honeysuckle a year or so back, and it fascinated me then. I’d like to try them, so I’m going to talk to a nursery owner I’m friends with and see if he can get some for us to try.

Clayton January 27, 2010, 9:53 pm

cottonM -Here is a second page on Plants for a Future Database http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Lonicera+caerulea
Read the comments at the bottom of the page re seed distribution. I have not found any seedlings in 4 years.
Good point on size. They are quite variable depending on the variety available. Height can vary from 3 ft. to about 7ft. Width up to about 5 ft. They need to be pruned as most fruiting shrubs and kept to 5 to 7 good stems. This best achieved by planting your plant a little deeper when received and allowing some shoots to rise up. One of the Horticulture folks at Saskatchewan Ag and Food suggested pruning this way as being the most likely to maintain a healthy open plant. So far I do not find them suckering at all.

cottonM January 27, 2010, 9:40 pm

When I hear the genus ‘Lonicera’ what comes to mind is ‘Lonicera tatarica’ which is a serious invasive. I notice that 2/3 of the subspecies mentioned on Wikipedia are not North American. If as has been described above “. The developing fruit will need protection from the birds. Robins and cedar waxwings will fly right into the area while you are putting up the net.” should we all be cautious? It is primarily birds that spread ‘L. tatarica’.

Also I would have liked a bit more info on the plant especially size & growth rate. It does sound interesting.

Clayton January 27, 2010, 9:39 pm

Thanks for all the comments.
This plant thus far would not rank as a great landscape plant. They are very nice while they are in full fruit production but they begin to shut down soon after, particularly in the heat of summer. They might be encouraged to stay green with some constant watering but it is really not their habit. They might be seen to have disease in the summer season but mostly it is this shutting down which causes the leaves to discolor. They do become somewhat vulnerable to leaf spot diseases at this time but it takes a good eye to discern the difference.
Note the flowers are not very significant (quite different from the climbers in this family) and very early so you would need to have hummers very early in your area. Bees are by far the most common pollinators.

Lynne January 27, 2010, 4:58 pm

I have a pair on order and I can’t wait until they are here, planted and then start producing… always on the lookout for hardy prairie fruits and berries!
(Calgary, AB)

Mr. McGregor's Daughter January 27, 2010, 10:37 am

Does the foliage show autumn color? What do the plants look like in winter? In a small garden, such as mine, plants need to perform multiple functions, so ornamental qualities are as important as the food production.

Olga May 17, 2012, 3:17 pm

No fall color. I remember them just brown. I think the bush looks a little bit messy. Try to find taller varieties.

Tessa at Blunders with shoots, blossoms 'n roots January 27, 2010, 1:45 am

Funny, I’ve been looking into what kind of small fruits I could grow in our new garden- thanks for posting this!

kate/high altitude gardening January 26, 2010, 10:49 pm

Hi;
A blue honeysuckle! I love blue and the hummers sure love the honeysuckles. Sounds fantastic. I am very anxious to learn more and try it out in my garden. What a great, informative post. Thanks for the tip! :)

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