We have recently published ‘Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions’: i.e. tropical and sub-tropical regions. We rely on regular donations to keep our free database going and help fund development of this and another book we are planning on food forest plants for Mediterranean climates. Please give what you can to keep PFAF properly funded. More >>>

Follow Us:


Lonicera caerulea - L.

Common Name Sweetberry honeysuckle, Bluefly honeysuckle, Haskap berry
Family Caprifoliaceae
USDA hardiness 3-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Low ground[235].
Range N.E. Europe. Northern N. America - Newfoundland to Alaska and southwards.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full sun
Lonicera caerulea Sweetberry honeysuckle, Bluefly honeysuckle, Haskap berry

Lonicera caerulea Sweetberry honeysuckle, Bluefly honeysuckle, Haskap berry


Translate this page:


Another member of the Honeysuckle family, Honeyberry or Haskapberry is a fast-growing deciduous shrub grown for its blueberry-like fruit. Although the berries are small, they are great eaten raw straight from the bush and fun to graze with children. Most varieties have small green leaves and attractive stems. They are hardy to zone 3 and are easy-to-grow with no pest or disease problems. Fruit can be eaten raw or used in jams and jellies. They can also be frozen for later use. High in antioxidants and vitamin C. Haskap are superior to any other Honeyberries with sweeter, wild Blueberry flavour and larger, fleshier fruit. Extremely cold hardy. Two varieties are needed for pollination. Note: Lonicera caerulea var. edulis Turcz. ex Herder is a synonym of Lonicera caerulea L.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Lonicera caerulea is a deciduous Shrub growing to 2 m (6ft 7in) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 2. It is in flower from April to May. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects. The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Plant Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit
Edible Uses:

The following report is for the closely related L. villosa, it would be worthwhile experimenting with this plant to check on edibility[K]. The fruit of this species is about 5mm in diameter[235]. Fruit - raw or preserved[43, 105, 200]. A milder flavour than most edible honeysuckles, they can be eaten raw but are mainly used in making jams, jellies and refreshing drinks[183].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

The Bookshop: Edible Plant Books

Our Latest books on Perennial Plants For Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens in paperback or digital formats.

Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions: 250+ Plants For Tropical Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.
Edible Tropical Plants

Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions: 250+ Plants For Tropical Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.

Plants for Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.
Edible Temperate Plants

Plants for Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.

PFAF have eight books available in paperback and digital media.
More Books

PFAF have eight books available in paperback and digital formats. Browse the shop for more information.

Shop Now

Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

Food Forest

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Grows best in a good moist soil in a sunny position, it does not fruit so well in the shade[200]. Closely related to L. villosa[200]. Interesting botanically because it appears as though two flowers arise from a single ovary[11]. The fruit is actually a fleshy growth that surrounds the two ovaries[11]. A very variable species[11], there are some named forms selected for their ornamental value[200]. 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. In garden design, as well as the above-ground architecture of a plant, root structure considerations help in choosing plants that work together for their optimal soil requirements including nutrients and water. The root pattern is branching: a heart root, dividing from the crown into several primary roots going down and out [2-1].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:



The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees,Edible Shrubs, Woodland Gardening, and Temperate Food Forest Plants. Our new book is Food Forest Plants For Hotter Conditions (Tropical and Sub-Tropical).

Shop Now

Plant Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed requires 2 months cold stratification[113] and should be sown as soon as possible in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7 - 10cm with or without a heel, July/August in a frame. Good percentage[78]. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season's growth, 15 - 20cm with or without a heel, November in a cold frame. Good percentage[78]. Layering in autumn[200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Hascup, Hasukappu, honeyberry, haskap berry, blue-berried honeysuckle, or sweetberry honeysuckle

Alaska, Canada, China, Europe, Japan, Mongolia, North America, Russia, Siberia, USA,

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Diervilla loniceraBush Honeysuckle, Northern bush honeysuckleShrub1.0 3-8 MLMHSNM022
Lonicera affinis Climber7.0 5-9  LMHSNM11 
Lonicera angustifoliaNarrow-leafed honeysuckleShrub2.7 4-8 MLMHNM402
Lonicera canadensisFly Honeysuckle, American fly honeysuckleShrub1.5 3-7  LMHNM11 
Lonicera caprifoliumItalian Honeysuckle, Italian woodbineClimber6.0 4-8 MLMHFSNM122
Lonicera chrysanthaHoneysuckleShrub4.0 3-7  LMHNM10 
Lonicera ciliosaOrange HoneysuckleClimber10.0 4-8 MLMHSNM222
Lonicera gracilipes Shrub1.8 5-9  LMHNM11 
Lonicera gracilipes glabra Shrub1.8 5-9  LMHNM11 
Lonicera henryi Climber6.0 4-8  LMHSNM113
Lonicera involucrataTwinberry, Twinberry honeysuckleShrub1.2 4-8 MLMHNM222
Lonicera japonicaJapanese HoneysuckleClimber5.0 4-10 FLMHSNDM233
Lonicera morrowiiMorrow's honeysuckleShrub2.0 3-7  LMHNM110
Lonicera nitidaBoxleaf HoneysuckleShrub3.0 6-9 FLMHFSNM003
Lonicera periclymenumHoneysuckle, European honeysuckleClimber4.5 4-8 MLMHFSNM123
Lonicera pileataPrivet honeysuckleShrub0.2 4-8  LMHFSNDM003
Lonicera quinquelocularis Shrub5.0 4-8  LMHNDM002
Lonicera sempervirensTrumpet Honeysuckle, Coral HoneysuckleShrub5.0 4-9 FLMHNDM01 
Lonicera utahensisUtah HoneysuckleShrub1.5 4-8  LMHNM11 
Lonicera venulosa Shrub1.5 5-9  LMHNM20 
Lonicera villosaMountain fly honeysuckle, Fuller's honeysuckleShrub1.5 3-9 SLMHNM300
Lonicera villosa solonis Shrub0.8 -  LMHNM30 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


Expert comment



Botanical References


Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Lukasz Luczaj   Mon Feb 18 15:07:26 2002

This plant, exactly its Kamtschaka variety, under the name "jagoda kamczacka" (Kamtchatka berry) is now very trendy and available in any garden center in Poland. It is said to have the earliest fruit in Polish gardens (end of May), earlier than strawberries (mid-June). It develops leaves very early, may be frost-sensitive in maritime climates.

Robert [ Bob ] O Styles   Thu Jan 24 2008

One Green World Nursery--Metalla, Oregon USA ph 1-877-353-4208 carries 12 varaites of honey berry eg:Berry Blue 8' Blue Belle 4-5' Blue Bird 5-6' Blue Forest 3' Blue Lightning 5' Blue moon 4'Blue Nova 4' Blue pacific 3' Blue Sky 3-4' Blue Velvet 3-4' Kamchatka var.#6222 Smokey Blue3-4' & other uncommon fruit var. hope this is helpful- Bob styles

Jim Jackson   Sun Sep 23 2007

University of Saskatchewan several articles. They use the Japanese name for Lonicera caerulea - Haskap

Jim Jackson   Sun Sep 23 2007

University of Saskatchewan Dept. of Plant Sciences

Steve Dupey   Tue Jun 6 2006

Featured as an unusual new berry crop, and sold as "Honeyberry" in many garden catalogs lately, Blue Honeysuckle (Lonicera caerulea) hails from the Russian far east (where it is known as jumula) and northen Japan where it is apparently a common forest understory plant and much appreciated as a wild-picked berry. There isn't a lot of information online about its edible qualities however, so I thought I would add my own comments. Having planted a number of cultivars some years ago, I found the plant easy to grow here in zone five (interior Pacific Northwest). It does suffer a bit in mid-summer heat here in the hotter region of the state, and seems to perfer moist soil and partial shade at those times. Though only of mediocre quality as a berry eaten fresh off the bush, tasting something akin to a slightly sour inferior blueberry with a slight aftertaste, the species nonetheless has some redeeming and valuable qualities. Sweetened and cooked as a jam, jelly, syrup, juice, or pie-filling, these berries are quite flavorful, and I would rate them as good to very good, rather than the poor to mediocre rating that I have given them as a freshly eaten berry. My Blue-belle cultivar provided a small initial harvest today and I cooked a sample up for testing. The berries bore fairly well on the small bush (about 4' high), and the juicy blue elongated berries typically measured about 5/8 inches long by 3/8 inches in diameter. One cup of berries combined with 1/4 cup water, and 5 tablespoons of sugar, and then simmered for about 12 minutes while stirring and mashing the berries yeilded a rich maroon-colored jam which I found to be highly flavored and fragrant, tasting something like a combination of blueberry and blackberry but with its own distinct flavors throughout. To a portion of this I added a bit of cornstarch, and ended up with what seemed like would serve as an excellant pie-filling material, though the above proportion of berries and sugar seems to have thickened fairly well on its own as a soft jam. This bush is extremely cold-hardy (rated to zone 2 in the catalogs). It has shown no sign of winter dieback here though its branches are quite brittle and break easily from snow and birds even. It is absolutely the first berry to bloom and bear fruit around here. I am picking June 6th this year, which is a couple weeks ahead of my strawberries. The elongated tubular twin-flowers seem very frost-hardy, and early in the spring are quite attractive to bumblebees and other long-tongued bees which can reach the nectar deep within them. I have grown these berry plants from seed. After a cold, moist, winter stratification, they sprout readily enough but losses to the tiny young plants were fairly high over time. The plants produce berries in two to three years, and seem fairly true-to-form with the parents. Clearly however, the way to propagate this plant is through layering of the branches in moist soil, or perhaps cuttings (which I have not experimented with). Branches buried last year with tips exposed are now rooting nicely. In coastal regions of the Pacific Northwest this plant probably grows most vigorously of all, though the early bloom and cool wet weather may cause pollination and yield problems. (There are later blooming cultivars being sold to remedy this though.) With its increasing familiarity and planting, I would expect bird-sown seeds to cause Blue Honeysuckle to naturalize readily within a few years of its introduction in America.

Kathryn Smith   Thu Aug 10 2006

Oh joy! Another escaped honeysuckle to invade our forests.

R.O[Bob] Styles   Tue Sep 5 2006

I've been in the Landscape gardening bus.since 1957,have operated most of that time as T&S[Trees & Shrubs] Landscaping approx 45 years and am still very attached to this multi-faceted enterprise, I have been now near 69 yrs. of age still very introduced to at least 4 varietys of edible fruit bearing Lonicera cold hardy [honey berry honeysuckle, possible very high yield bushes,[givin the proper soil & nurturing conditions. I would appreciate professional info.re.this plant product,how to purchace,how to care,age to full prod,amt of prod. per.plant, no of plants per 100 lineal ft.,width between rows & cost of plants in var. quantites, available varietys, & info. re. variety. THANKS SO MUCH in advance for your help, Yours Truly Robert [Bob]O Styles /T&S Landscaping.EMAIL, [email protected] Mailing add. P.O.Box 626 Tumbler Ridge B.C,Home Add.155 Bergeron Drive, Tumbler Ridgr B.C. V0C 2W0, Phone 1-250-242-3313

Dave Negrych   Fri Oct 5 2007

Haskap Canada Association Haskap.ca is a website dedicated to promoting the production and marketing of Canadian grown haskap.

Clayton Wiebe   Mon Feb 4 2008

I think the horse is out of the corral and the gate can't be closed. I have been in touch with gardeners in Poland and Czech Republic and it is a quite a common plant throughout the region. It is also a popular plant when you look for nutraceuticals from China and other parts of the continent there. Most of what we are seeing is Russian in origin and there is now some effort to incorporate the Japanese line from Hokkaido Island. In conversation with Dr. Bob Bors here at the University of Saskatchewan, he indicated that when they were doing species collection in the province of Manitoba, they did not find the plant to be invasive nor have they found it self propagating at or near their trials. I have a number of seedlings from various sources and will have first fruit this year. I surprised at the number of named plants being offered as there are also a number of new varieties here in Canada. All are Russian source as far as I know.

Bob Bors   Wed Jan 9 2008

Regarding the comment "another escaped species to invade our forests": This species is already native to our northern boreal forrest. Unlike other Lonicera this species is not very aggressive. I have found it in 35 sites in Canada and never have I seen it to be a dominant species. also, we've grown it for 10 years at the University of Saskatchewan Iand I have never seen a volunteer plant.

Don Northcott   Mon Feb 2 2009

Phytocultures Ltd. web site. News Letter available on line.

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at [email protected]. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Lonicera caerulea  
© 2010, Plants For A Future. Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567.