Lonicera caerulea, the honeyberry, haskap berry, blue-berried
honeysuckle, or sweetberry honeysuckle, is a honeysuckle native
throughout the cool temperate Northern Hemisphere. Haskap berries are
available in the countries such as North America, Canada, Japan,
Russia, Poland etc. It is a deciduous shrub growing to 1.5–2 m tall.
The leaves are opposite, oval, 3–8 cm long and 1–3 cm
broad, greyish 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,
somewhat rectangular in shape weighing 1.3 to 2.2 grams, and about
1 cm in diameter.
1.2 Common names
2 Distribution and habitat
4 Harvest and uses
6 Traditional medicine
8 External links
The classification within the species is not settled. One
classification uses nine varieties:
Lonicera caerulea var. altaica. Northern Asia.
Lonicera caerulea var. caerulea. Europe.
Lonicera caerulea var. cauriana. Western North America.
Lonicera caerulea var. dependens. Central Asia.
Lonicera caerulea var. edulis, synonym: L. edulis. Eastern Asia.
Lonicera caerulea var. emphyllocalyx (also known as haskap). Eastern
Lonicera caerulea var. kamschatica. Northeastern Asia.
Lonicera caerulea var. pallasii. Northern Asia, northeastern Europe.
Lonicera caerulea var. villosa. Eastern North America.
According to research at the University of Saskatchewan, each variety
can be distinguished by the size of berries, taste, and bush
Haskap berry diversity
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
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
Distribution and habitat
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
Haskap products on retail display in a Japanese market
Haskap berries and leaves
Haskap variety edulis has been used frequently in breeding efforts,
but other varieties have been bred with it to increase productivity
and flavor. In several haskap breeding programs, the variety
emphyllocalyx has been the dominant one used.
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.
Each berry has approximately 20 seeds that resemble tomato seeds based
on their size and shape, but the seeds are not noticeable during
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.
Harvest and uses
Honeysuckle is harvested in late spring or early summer two weeks
before strawberries for Russian type varieties, with Japanese types
ripening at a similar time to strawberries. The berries are ready
to harvest when the inner layer is dark purple or blue. The outer
layer is dark blue and looks ripened, but the inner layer may be green
with a sour flavor. Two compatible varieties are needed for
cross pollination and fruit set. In North America, most Russian
varieties are adapted to hardiness zones 1 to 4. The plants may take
three or four years to produce an abundant harvest. Average
production on a good bush is about 3 kilograms (6.6 lb) and can
maintain productivity for 30 years.
Honeysuckle can be used in various processed products, such as
pastries, jams, juice, ice cream, yogurt, sauces, candies and a wine
similar in color and flavor to red grape or cherry wine.
As a blue pigmented fruit,
Lonicera caerulea contains polyphenol
compounds, including cyanidin 3-glucoside, cyanidin 3-rutinoside, and
peonidin 3-glucoside. Other phytochemicals present are
proanthocyanidins and organic acids, including a high content of
Over centuries in East Asian countries,
Lonicera caerulea has been
used for supposed therapeutic applications in traditional
Plant List: A Working List of All
Plant Species; Family
Caprifoliaceae, Genus Lonicera by Species, The
Plant List, Version 1,
Royal Botanic Garden-Kew and Missouri Botanical Garden, 2010,
retrieved 18 May 2016
^ "BSBI List 2007". Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived
from the original (xls) on 2015-01-25. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
^ "Lonicera caerulea".
Natural Resources Conservation Service
Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS
Database. USDA. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
^ a b
University of Saskatchewan
University of Saskatchewan (2007). "Haskap: University of
Fruit Program". Retrieved 25 November 2016.
^ USDA GRIN Taxonomy, retrieved 18 May 2016
^ a b c d e f g h i j k Bob Bors. "Growing Haskap in Canada" (PDF).
University of Saskatchewan, Department of
^ a b c "Honeyberry". London, UK: The Royal Horticultural Society.
^ Janick, J.; Paull, R.E. (2008). The Encyclopedia of
Nuts. CABI. p. 232. ISBN 9780851996387.
^ Utioh, A., Nivet, M., Gopal,R., Alejo, D., Ghosh, P., Appah, P.
(2011). "Fractionation and processing of small fruits for applications
in functional foods and nutraceuticals Program" (PDF). Retrieved 28
November 2016. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
^ Reimer, Peter (2007). "Haskap wines at the University of
Saskatchewan fruit program" (PDF). Retrieved 9 August 2016.
^ Celli, G. B.; Khattab, R; Ghanem, A; Brooks, M. S. (2016).
"Refractance Window™ drying of haskap berry--preliminary results on
anthocyanin retention and physicochemical properties". Food Chemistry.
194: 218–21. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2015.08.012.
^ Zenovia O, Lacramioara O, Elena T, Maria-Magdalena Z (2013).
"Variability of anthocyanin content and dry matter amount in fruits of
some lonicera caerulea selections depending on storage conditions".
Analele Ştiinţifice Ale Universităţii Alexandru Ioan Cuza Din
Iași, Sectiunea II A : Genetica Si Biologie Moleculara. 14 (4):
7–12. CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
^ Caprioli, G; Iannarelli, R; Innocenti, M; Bellumori, M; Fiorini, D;
Sagratini, G; Vittori, S; Buccioni, M; Santinelli, C; Bramucci, M;
Quassinti, L; Lupidi, G; Vitali, L.A.; Petrelli, D; Beghelli, D;
Cavallucci, C; Bistoni, O; Trivisonno, A; Maggi, F (2016). "Blue
honeysuckle fruit (
Lonicera caerulea L.) from eastern Russia: Phenolic
composition, nutritional value and biological activities of its polar
extracts". Food Funct. 7 (4): 1892–903. doi:10.1039/c6fo00203j.
^ Rupasinghe, H. P.; Boehm, M. M.; Sekhon-Loodu, S; Parmar, I; Bors,
B; Jamieson, A. R. (2015). "Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Haskap
Cultivars is Polyphenols-Dependent". Biomolecules. 5 (2): 1079–98.
doi:10.3390/biom5021079. PMC 4496711 .
^ Kaczmarska E, Gawronski J, Dyduch-Sieminska M, Najda A, Marecki W,
Zebrowska J (2015). "Genetic diversity and chemical characterization
of selected Polish and Russian cultivars and clones of blue
honeysuckle (Lonicera caerulea)" (PDF). Turkish Journal of Agriculture
and Forestry. 39: 394–402. doi:10.3906/tar-1404-149.
University of Saskatchewan
University of Saskatchewan
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