Honeyberry – Lonicera Caerulea
Lonicera caerulea, the honeyberry, blue-berried honeysuckle, or sweetberry honeysuckle, is a honeysuckle native throughout the cool temperate Northern Hemisphere. It is a deciduousshrub growing to 1.5–2 m tall. The leaves are opposite, oval, 3–8 cm long and 1–3 cm broad, glaucous green, with a slightly waxy texture. The flowers are yellowish-white, 12–16 mm long, with five equal lobes; they are produced in pairs on the shoots. The fruit is an edible, blue berry about 1 cm in diameter.
Lonicera caerulea is known by several common names
- Haskap: an ancient Japanese name of the Ainu people (also spelled phonetically as Haskappu, Hascap, Hascup); used today in Japan and North America
- Blue honeysuckle: descriptive translation from Russian origin
- Honeyberry: common in North America
- Swamp fly honeysuckle: coined by botanists who found it growing wild in swampy areas of Canada
The species is circumpolar, primarily found in or near wetlands of boreal forests in heavy peat soils. However, it also can be found in high-calcium soils, in mountains, and along the coasts of northeastern Asia and northwestern North America. The plant is winter-hardy and can tolerate temperatures below minus 47 degrees Celsius
Each berry has approximately 20 seeds that resemble tomato seeds based on their size and shape, but the seeds are not noticeable during chewing
Planted as a 2 year (?) plant in late fall 2016 in Brugge, BE
Fall 2016 around Brugge Belgium.
Planted fall 2016
April 2017 flowers.
April 3 2019
Diseases and Problems
Powdery mildew is one disease documented to affect Lonicera caerulea, usually after fruit maturity in mid– to late summer. When the plant is affected, it is common for the leaves to turn white with brown patches eventually developing. Milk has long been popular with home gardeners and small-scale organic growers as a treatment for powdery mildew. Milk is diluted with water (typically 1:10) and sprayed on susceptible plants at the first sign of infection, or as a preventative measure, with repeated weekly application often controlling or eliminating the disease.
Plants of many haskap cultivars grow to be 1.5 to 2 meters tall and wide, can survive a large range of soil acidity, from 3.9-7.7 (optimum 5.5-6.5), requiring high organic matter, well drained soils, and plentiful sunlight for optimum productivity. Lonicera caerulea plants are more tolerant of wet conditions than most fruit species.
Type and size – bush, variable shapes from low-spreading to 2-5 feet upright
Hardiness zone – 2-7
Exposure – full sun
Soil – all but very wet, pH 5.0 to 7.0
Drainage – moderate to well-drained
Life of planting – 30+ years