PNW Landscape Plant Guide

brought to you by the plant geeks at Calendula Farm

Honeyberry a.k.a. Haskap Berry (Lonicera caerulea)

Honeyberry is a Honeysuckle. It’s a shrubby Honeysuckle which has been happily harvested by the original people of most far northern regions of the world including the Kamchatka Peninsula, Japan, Canada, and China for millennia. The original people of northern Japan, the Ainu, call the juiced berries “the elixir of life”.

Never heard of it? You’re not the only one. Honeyberry is being commercially grown more and more in parts of Europe and North Asia, and Canada has been ramping up production, marketing, and development of new varieties dramatically for the last 20 years.

Fine, but what is it?

They are deciduous shrubs 3-5 feet tall. They thrive in sun, but appreciate some shade in areas of very hot dry weather. They love it here in Western Washington. Two different varieties are needed for cross pollination. They flower very early with pale yellow tubular blooms and the fruit ripens in mid summer.

Berries look and taste like elongated blueberries, but with a hint of green apple and black raspberry thrown in. Honeyberries are sneaky & hide under the leaves but once you spot them, it’s fun to keep hunting for more. They are incredibly nutritious and research is now exploring the nutrition in its leaves. Here’s a great article from the NIH about the benefits: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7037556/

Important – red berries from Honeysuckle vines are not edible. Do not eat them.