Lonicera caerulea is a medium-sized shrub that produces an abundance of delectable edible fruit in shades of blues depending on the cultivar, much like blueberries. The genus ‘Lonicera’ is for Adam Lonitzer (1528-1586), a German botanist and the author of an herbal (Kreuterbuch) many times reprinted between 1557 and 1783. It is related to the honeysuckle.
Lonicera caerulea, commonly known by a variety of common names including blue honeysuckle, honeyberry, sweet berry honeysuckle, and haskap is a deciduous shrub, native to moist boreal forest areas in northern temperate climates in Asia, Europe and North America.
This heavily fruit-bearing plant requires little special care.
Grows 4-6’ tall and wide, depending on the cultivar. Produces an abundance of pale yellowish-white flowers in late spring-early summer, (to 1/2” long). Fruit occurs in early summer, deep blue with reddish-purple insides. Fruit ripens before blueberries.
Deer tend to avoid this plant.
The oblong fruits taste like a cross between a raspberry and a blueberry. They are excellent eaten fresh or used in desserts, as well as preserves.
Grows best in rich, moist, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Shrubs will take full sun in the northern parts of the growing area but will do best with some afternoon shade in hotter climates, such as the southern states. Moisture is important in the early years of development. Shrubs will show some drought tolerance only after root systems are well-established.
Shrubs are not self-fertile, plant in pairs or groups for the best pollination and fruit set to occur. Makes an interesting hedge plant.
Prune as necessary right after the shrub has finished fruiting. Shrubs will not sucker.
No known serious insect or disease problems. Powdery mildew may occur.
Various cultivars with desirable characteristics are offered, please select your choice.