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Honeyberries
   

Honeyberries (Siberian honeysuckle - Lonicera caerulea var. kamtschatica)

The honeyberry or blue honeysuckle is native to Siberia and other parts of North and North East Asia. The juicy, tasty fruits are highly valued by the indigenous people of Kamchatka.

Related to the native Irish honeysuckle but is a small shrub, not a climber. Grows to approximately 1.5 metres. Produces elongated blue fruit with blueberry/damson flavour, only more acid. In spite of its name, it requres a warm, dry and sunny spot to do well (but tolerant of very low winter temperatures). Plant two or more varieties to ensure good pollination. All varieties fruit very early in the season, typically mid-June. The flowers are very attractive to bees.

The Siberian honeysickles are very winter cold-tolerant but require a sheltered sunny situation to perform well. Vulnerable to wind damage. Prefer well drained moist acid soils high in organic content. The flowers are extremely tolerant of frost.

Varieties

Aurora                              
University of Saskatchewan, parentage: Russian cultivar ‘Solovey’ and Japanese cultivar ‘MT46.55’. Released to propagators in 2012. Erect, thick and compact growth habit, 1.6 m high. Flowers mid May, fruits July/August. Very tasty berries averaging 1.9g. High resistance to disease.

Blue Velvet                               
Compact bush, smaller fruits, ornamental. One of the toughest in terms of wind resistance and tolerance of wet conditions.

Borealis                              
University of Saskatchewan, parentage: Kurile cultivar ‘Kiev#8’ and Russian cultivar ‘Tomiczka’. Released to propagators in 2007. Thick and compact growth habit, 1.2 m high. Flowers mid May, fruit from mid June to early July. Relatively larger fruit, average fruit weight 1.6 g, boxy shape, sweet and tart taste. High resistance to disease.

Honeybee                              
University of Saskatchewan. Russian hybrid (‘Suvenir’ and ‘Blue Pacific’). Selected to be a pollinator for ‘Borealis’, ‘Tundra’ and the ‘Indigo’ series. Fast growing shrub up to 1.8 m high. Fruit from mid June to early July. Very high yields. Disease resistant.

Morena                              
Russian cultivar, 1995. Grows up to 1.5 m high and bears fruit abundantly. Not self fertile. Fruits mid June to early July, spindle shaped, tasty and sweet with a little sourness. Disease resistant.

Tomiczka                             
Russian cultivar, 1987. Grows up to 1.5 m. Not self fertile. Large quantities of small to medium sized berries, sweet and sour. Mid June to early July.

Tundra                             
University of Saskatchewan, 2007. Grows to 1.5m. Not self fertile. Medium sized berries, tangy and sweet. Mid June to early July.

Supply uncertain, hope to have plants spring 2017